Ars Technica is featuring a piece on new chips from Intel specifically aimed at the low-cost, low-power consumption market, currently dominated by Intel's own Classmate, the OLPC XO, and the Asus Eee. According to the article, the so-called Diamondville chips are
targeted at applications like OLPC and the Asus Eee PC, where cost and power consumption are the primary factors. Diamondville processors will be soldered directly on to the motherboard, eliminating the cost of the socket and bringing the total price of the computer down into the sub-$300 range.
While exact details are still sketchy, it is clear that Intel has seen the writing on the wall. The clock speed race is basically irrelevant for everyday computing. Rather, making 1:1 initiatives a success, whether domestically or abroad, will require real innovation, directed at keeping prices low in small, passively-cooled packages capable of running for an entire school day on a single charge. I want to be screaming along with a couple of quad-core processors as much as the next guy, but I'd trade 8 cores of performance for a small, light, rugged laptop for several of my classes any day.