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

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 16 January 2018 at 04:45 PM EST. 41 Comments
If you have been curious about the state of Purism's Librem 5 smartphone project since its successful crowdfunding last year and expedited plans to begin shipping this Linux smartphone in early 2019, the company has issued their first status update.

Purism plans to begin publishing weekly updates on the Librem 5 smartphone project. Among the topics covered in their first update sent out this afternoon:

- They have begun some new hires to work on the Librem 5 team following a lengthy interview process.

- Back during the campaign it was a question of whether they would use the i.MX6 or i.MX8 SoC. They still aren't fully decided as they have yet to get their hands on any i.MX8 hardware, but they are leaning towards the i.MX8M with a release date having been announced last week at the Consumer Electronic Show. The i.MX8M features up to four Cortex-A53 cores, LPDDR4/DDR4/DDR3L support, two USB 3.0 interfaces, two PCI-E interfaces, HDMI 2.0a / MIPI-DSI, and the graphics hardware is capable of OpenGL ES 3.1 / OpenCL 1.2 / OpenGL 3.0 and Vulkan. The i.MX8M is using the Vivante GC7000 series graphics processor. But as far as whether they are planning for an i.MX8M Dual or QuadLite or even Solo version, Purism hadn't commented yet.

- Besides the i.MX6 being quite slow and crippled for today's smartphone standards let alone something shipping in 2019, they are leaning away from it since it's too power-hungry under load in their testing.

- Purism will focus on a AArch64/ARM64 software stack rather than 32-bit software.

- They are working on figuring out their development board plans, including sourcing a ~5-inch 1080p touchscreen display for the boards.

- They are still planning on using Wayland for the Librem 5.

- They are exploring various manufacturing sites around the world.

- Purism's UI/UX team is working with the GNOME UI/UX team and others while next they will be reaching out to the KDE/Plasma team.

Read the status update in full via the Purism blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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