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Purism Eyeing The i.MX8M For The Librem 5 Smartphone, Issues First Status Update

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  • johanb
    replied
    I have the expectation that the hardware on this phone will be "good enough".
    It's their first phone and they have a lot of requirements to be able to be as libre as they can, give them a break.

    The reason why I backed this project is because I want to see a open source mobile operating system which you can actually contribute to.
    The fact that it will run upstream code will also mean that it could technically be supported forever in comparison to android phones which get updates in just 1-2 years which is simply horrible. Hell, even the nexus phones which are supposed to have good software support only get 3 years support!

    If this succeeds and is still available in 3 years, this is our best bet on "real" convergence.
    Personally I'd still like to have my desktop for performance, but to dock it into a laptop with just battery+screen+keyboard+trackpad would be really neat.
    Everything could probably even be sent through a USB-C port with thunderbolt/usb3.1.

    I wouldn't mind a RISC-V variant of the Librem 5 in the future either
    Last edited by johanb; 17 January 2018, 08:00 AM.

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  • DrYak
    replied
    Originally posted by GI_Jack View Post
    What I want:
    comes stock with TWRP and Linaege OS, and a native, everything working fork.
    That won't be made by Purism.
    Part of their whole point is to have a full GNU/Linux stack.
    (Though they might support andbox by the time the device ships).

    On the other hand, as the device is supposed to be full open-source and supported by stock vanilla linux,
    and all the weird parts (3G/4G modem, GPS, etc.) only being isolated in separate chips only talking over standard protocols (serial, network), it should be almost trivial for anyone in the LineageOS community to port it to the Librem5.


    All the rest you're hoping fore (no DMA access granted to the modem, free drivers everywhere, etc.) is exactly what they aim for, and why they stay with i.MX8 SoCs instead of the latest shiny from Qualcomm.

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  • DrYak
    replied
    Originally posted by Vasant1234 View Post
    The I.MX8 is a quad core Cortex A53 which is pretty much an entry level phone right now. In 2019 it will be comparable to a $150/- Android phone with very limited software.
    You have to realise two things :
    - Their primary target is not people wanting to have a ginormous over powered iPhone X2 / Samsung Galagy whatever/etc. Their primary target is people who want to be fully in control on everything that goes inside their phone (so a full GPL GNU/Linux stack).
    - As Sailfish OS has shown, a tightly integrated GNU/Linux system, using something lightweight like QML for the user-interface, can actually be pretty efficient even on hardware where the giant "I can't believe it's not Java" layer of Google starts to hiccups.
    (i.e.: on native Sailfish apps, the first Jolla 1 phone is quite responsive even today).

    Originally posted by Vasant1234 View Post
    And for those open-source advocates, the LTE modem runs closed source firmware
    Hence the whole point of not using a chipset (e.g.: most from Qualcomm) where the modem is the north bridge of the SoC, but using a relatively clean Soc where everything is supported by opensource software, and isolate the modem as a separate chips that only communicates over standard protocols (for 4G, that's usually a combo of serial port and USB-networking).
    I.e.: they replicate the situation of a fully libre laptop, and all the evil bit constrained to a USB 3G/4G stick plugged into the USB port of the libre laptop.

    So the LTE firmware can be as evil as it wants, it's limited to only seeing it's own end of the standard serial+network link. No full DMA access, nor access to audio codec, etc.

    Same approach is also applicable to GPS (closed source firmware necessary if they want to sell it in the US, or if the manufacturer it in the US and want to sell abroad).

    and I believe the video decoder (VPU) is closed firmware.
    As they've said, they'll limit themselves to what the opensource Etnaviv driver will support on i.MX8
    So maybe some functions will be missing (probably everything related to decoding DRM protected content), but the main SoC will be exclusively running open code.


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  • michaelb1
    replied
    Originally posted by Hi-Angel View Post
    Thanks for a very interesting blog post. Where is the comments section btw? 😛
    You could subscribe to that mailing list to send a reply e-mail message, then it will be visible at the bottom of page if a person clicks "Follow-Ups"

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  • Hi-Angel
    replied
    Originally posted by Licaon View Post
    Fun fact, hope Matrix devs learn from the past: https://mail.gnome.org/archives/desk.../msg00047.html
    Thanks for a very interesting blog post. Where is the comments section btw? 😛

    Leave a comment:


  • sverris
    replied
    Originally posted by Vasant1234 View Post
    The I.MX8 is a quad core Cortex A53 which is pretty much an entry level phone right now. In 2019 it will be comparable to a $150/- Android phone with very limited software.
    And for those open-source advocates, the LTE modem runs closed source firmware and I believe the video decoder (VPU) is closed firmware. Some one needs to better define what a true open source device is.
    It will be as open as possible and it is not intended to run Crysis.

    Leave a comment:


  • andre30correia
    replied
    Originally posted by Vasant1234 View Post
    The I.MX8 is a quad core Cortex A53 which is pretty much an entry level phone right now. In 2019 it will be comparable to a $150/- Android phone with very limited software.
    And for those open-source advocates, the LTE modem runs closed source firmware and I believe the video decoder (VPU) is closed firmware. Some one needs to better define what a true open source device is.
    low end really, we buy from china better phones with android for 80 bucks

    Leave a comment:


  • dedxi
    replied
    Originally posted by Vasant1234 View Post
    The I.MX8 is a quad core Cortex A53 which is pretty much an entry level phone right now. In 2019 it will be comparable to a $150/- Android phone with very limited software.
    And for those open-source advocates, the LTE modem runs closed source firmware and I believe the video decoder (VPU) is closed firmware. Some one needs to better define what a true open source device is.
    I guess everyone who backed this should just forget about it and buy a phone that's faster and more open instead, right? Like... what exactly?

    Also, did I miss the part where Purism claimed to be making a perfectly open device with no exceptions? Haven't seen them claim that about this project.

    Leave a comment:


  • shmerl
    replied
    Originally posted by MartinK View Post
    BTW, the UI can be actually the easy part (and it was indeed totally new on Sailfish OS, not taken from any prior project) - the hard parts are IMHO all the telephony and mobile connectivity bits working under the scenes to connect phone calls, make SMS/MMS arrive and move bits around over the mobile connection
    I was talking about UI indeed, since I was answering scottishduck who said that KDE / Gnome developers aren't likely to make a good UI.

    Originally posted by MartinK View Post
    Failure in this area means lost or interrupted calls, bad call quality, lost SMS messages or mobile connectivity issues and issues with switching between wifi and mobile connectivity. All potentially pretty annoying issues.
    Isn't there an effort to make a common mobile core for that (Halium)? Librem developers should just participate in that, instead of reinventing the wheel. Except they should opt out of libhybris and Android stuff, and use proper upstream kernel and drivers.
    Last edited by shmerl; 17 January 2018, 12:34 AM.

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  • shmerl
    replied
    Originally posted by Almindor View Post

    I wished Jolla would make good on their promise and just bloody open-source it already. All I'm asking is the UI and their internal apps/settings etc. not the drivers. That alone would be a huge boon to the community and would vindicate their huge failures.
    I asked them this question recently. They said they want to do it, but it's a lot of work (logistics / legal I assume), so it's never a priority.

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