A $75 laptop computer may soon be a reality.

The scientist behind the cheap laptop that is currently being produced and sold by the charity, the One Laptop per Child Foundation, has gone it alone and started up a new venture which could produce an even cheaper model.

Mary Lou Jepsen left her post as chief technology officer for the Foundation the at the end of last year, and has now founded a new company called Pixel Qi, which she describes as "a spin-out" from the non-profit group.

Between 2005-07, Jepsen invented a low-cost, low-power screen, which lets users switch from colour to black-and-white when it is in direct sun.

This, coupled with a power management system, became the central features of the low-cost laptop.

Her new venture, Pixel Qi, will commercialise this screen technology fopr possible use in notebook computers, digital cameras, mobile phones and other mobile devices, she said on her website.

She added that Pixel Qi will work closely with the OLPC Foundation, providing the products it develops to the non-profit group at cost.