Purism Provides Update On Librem 5 Shipping, Known Issues

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 October 2019 at 03:48 PM EDT. 44 Comments
Following the closure of Librem 5 initial "Aspen" batch shipping window and it coming out that the devices were just sent to employees/insiders, Purism has now provided more information on the shipping windows ahead and known issues.

Todd Weaver acknowledged in a post today that this first batch of Librem 5 "Aspen" phones have known issues with thermal throttling, unoptimal antenna routing, and poor CPU placement for thermal dissipation. There was no comment on the battery performance yet.

They have delayed the opening of the Librem 5 "Birch" shipping window from 29 October to 15 November. For this next batch they are said to have corrected the antenna problem but there still is poor thermal throttling and inadequate thermal dissipation. For the thermal throttling they plan to address that with a kernel update, presumably by tweaking the CPU frequency scaling behavior. Granted, if they are too aggressive in their down-clocking that can lead to lower performance for this already lower-spec'ed phone.

As for the CPU placement leading to thermal dissipation issues, obviously, that is no easy fix but involves relocating the SoC on the PCB. For changing the board design to improve the CPU thermal dissipation they plan to have that done for their fourth batch, "Dogwood", which will be shipping in 2020. With the relocated SoC they plan to have the aluminum chassis act as the heatsink to ensure no thermal issues. Their previous communications put Dogwood as shipping through Q1.

Following Dogwood is when they hope to get to their mass production "Evergreen" batch. If that is met on-time, Evergreen will ship in Q2'2020.

More details via this blog post.
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