FM radio on Librem-5?

Maybe I missed it in the specs, or it is always included in the baseband circuit, but will Librem-5 be able to listen to FM-radio? This is very useful especially when commuting.

unless it comes with some chip that we want to use anyway we might be able to support it, but we do not have this in our spec sheet. FM radio is a legacy technology and is going to be phased out soon and be replaced by digital radio broadcast like DAB+. DAB(+) receivers are a little more complex and require more
Including FM radio would add another extra chip and HF complexity. We are already very tight on space in the device so if at all this is at the very bottom of our enhancements list, sorry.



Thank you for your answer. So if I read correctly, it is not probable but it is not absolutely impossible. OK.

Isn’t the fm capability not part of most bt wifi chips and a simple matter of connecting the pins instead of grounding them? I think that was the problem of recent samsung devices


If this is true then this wish must be repeated. If the fm-device is already there, then please just connect the pins!


ERNT… @ilo is correct google it the chips needed are already in there … its purisms choice activate it or not… and if not it will be another reason no librem for me … no AMD no peace. :wink:

So let us repeat to Purism: Please activate the FM radio pins!

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The WiFi and Bluetooth module may well be a removable M.2 type, unlike any other phone. To my mind, that means it will probably be a module that was intended for laptops or industrial/embedded PCs and probably won’t have FM radio capability exposed on its electrical interface.

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Perhaps the best method here is to expose a couple of internal connection pads for the requisite signal, find out which points on the chip used on the M.2 module supply/consume said signal and then let us void our warranties with a soldering iron and some extremely fine wire?

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I can understand it if it has been decided that for cost reasons there is no wish to ensure that FM facility works on Librem phone. (Though this serves to drive up data usage when the browser is used for internet radio).
What I can’t find is any confirmation that FM is dying in favour of Digital broadcasting.
Has there been an update regarding the phone specs since the last post many months ago ?

Hi @MisterD,

There would be no cost saving if not soldering two pins. What is heavy on budget is to dedicate an engineer to work on writing the software to drive the FM module.

Norway has shut down its FM “network”, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden would like to do the same in the (not so-)near future. I also know DAB+ is much more easily found/deployed in Germany than in France for example.

This would make sense as France is not among the countries with regular services with DAB+ according to this infographic from Wikipedia. I also worked with FM and DAB+ circa 2012, and that was already the case.

The team is mostly focused on:

  • Finishing the phone shell
  • Porting the bare minimum for the phone to be usable at launch
  • Working on the battery life

I find it unlikely they dedicate people to work on a FM receiver :slight_smile:

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“There would be no cost saving if not soldering two pins. What is heavy on budget is to dedicate an engineer to work on writing the software to drive the FM module.”

This makes no sense. This is not Apple. It is Purism. Which means that they can let the community write the driver and the app. If it was a money issue for the module I would understand. But this…

About FM dying: It may die, but no earlier than 2 decades after the end of life of Librem5.

Again: If it is just the soldering of two pins, solder the pins and let the possibility open. Why on Earth, someone for just soldering two pins would close for good such a possibility?

There is even no marketing issue (someone to say that purism does not support it’s hardware) because, do not forget, the project is already(!) funded.

I do not have the technical skill to confirm or infirm that “if”. It this is only about soldering pins, and there is no antenna/electrical interference, I don’t see why not.

I do agree. Though they cannot advertise they support FM in such a case :slight_smile:

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If the phone has a soldered-on WiFi module, that’s when we could end up with the situation where there’s FM functionality on the chip and it just doesn’t get put to use.

But if the phone has a M.2 WiFi card, in a laptop-style M.2 slot, then that card is almost certainly not going to offer FM radio. As far as I know, there is no standard for wiring up FM radio through an M.2 slot.

What I think @TungstenFilament was saying is that you could reverse engineer the M.2 card and inside it there might be one of those chips that does FM radio, then you could mod it to get the FM signals out of it through some wires. Purism could then provide pads to solder the other end of those wires to. I am not sure how serious this suggestion was.

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Me? I was quite serious and absolutely would do that if it were possible. The information I’d need is the pinout for the various chips on the wi-fi card - if one of them had the requisite connection points exposed somewhere on the board, and if there were the correct pads available to solder on the phone’s mainboard, then I’d break out my soldering iron and Kynar wire and get right on with it.

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M.2 is a formfactor, PCIe/SATA is the interfaces supported by the standard on that formfactor. If they would put an actual M.2 socket in the phone it would take up more than half of the volume of the phones components so that would be incredibly stupid.

The i.MX 8/8M do have two PCIe interfaces however, so lets hope they use PCIe for Wi-Fi/BT because there’s no specific “FM radio” pin for PCIe, it’s a single generic bus which can transfer multiple types of data.

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It might in a normal phone, but the Librem 5’s main board is going to be enormous, so I think half of the volume is a bit of an overstatement. They’re putting a M.2 slot in for the cellular modem/baseband so I’d not be surprised to see one for WiFi too. (I’m pretty sure Todd Weaver said they were planning to use M.2 for WiFi, but I can’t remember which of his various interviews that was in.)