aaron maxwell

Mesh Networking on the OLPC XO Laptop

10 Jan 2008, Bay Area Python Interest Group - Google

This is a presentation I gave at the Bay Area Python Interest Group in early 2008. My co-presenters were Ed Cherlin of EarthTreasury, and Charles Merriam. Together we talked about the Children's Laptop, a.k.a. the XO laptop, from the OLPC project. Our discussion is biased towards Python programming. My section focuses on the machine's fascinating mesh network architecture.

Video recording of talk


Download slides: PDF OOo PPT

cozybit whitepaper on the OLPC mesh. This is a whitepaper/presentation by Javier Cardona, co-founder of cozybit, Inc., the company that worked with Marvel to implement mesh networking in the XO laptop. (I believe they prefer the company name be in all lowercase).

Wireless Networking in the Developing World. An interesting, extensive book on the problems and solutions related to bringing wireless net access to underdeveloped areas. Free PDF download.

Ticket: Eliminate dependency on licensed code in Marvell firmware. As of this writing (Jan 2008), the XO laptop's wireless chip driver is based on a proprietary microkernel. As a result, the current driver is only partially open source. If you are looking for an opportunity to assist the OLPC or contribute to an open source project, consider helping the effort to port the driver to an open-source firmware.

Minor correction: Towards the end I stated cozybit implemented the XO laptop's networking hardware. They made the networking software! I knew this full well but mispoke. (Marvel created the networking chip itself.)