AMD and OLPC have been talking up how environmentally friendly the XO laptop is for a while now, but today they've announced that they have the certifications to prove the device's "green" credentials.
At the center of today's news is the XO's Energy Star 4.0 qualification. This is apparently Energy Star's toughest qualification to get, as it means a max power draw of 22 watts at idle, 4 watts in sleep mode, and 2 watts in standby mode (measured at the wall socket). With only 1 watt of power use at idle, the XO is clearly a shoe-in for the spec.
Another big rating is the EPEAT Gold rating, which means that the device met a really long list of criteria, most of which have to do with environmental impact, energy efficiency, and overall company eco-friendliness. The XO shares EPEAT Gold status with only eight other laptops. Finally, the XO qualifies for the EU's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standard.
AMD claims that these new ratings, when combined with the laptop's durability, recyclability, renewable power sources (you can power it with a hand crank), and Lithium Ferro Phosphate battery, make the XO "the world's greenest laptop."
AMD is counting on OLPC to help them reach the goals set in their 50×15 program, an initiative that has as its goal bringing 50 percent of the world's population online by 2015. Bringing low-cost laptops to developing countries is a big part of this program. AMD told me that Brazil has 30 million school-age children, which for them translates into 30 million potential OLPC customers.
The company won't be attacking this market alone, however. Intel's Mooly Eden recently let slip at IDF that the company is working on a new low-cost, low-power processor that's aimed at a whole category of computing products for developing countries. (This was mis-reported in the press as "Intel is designing a new processor from the ground up specifically for OLPC." Having smelled a rat on reading the original headline at InfoWorld, I checked with Intel and got clarification that OLPC is merely an example of the kind of category that they're aiming at with the new processor.)