Librem 5 v2 spec-ulation


#1

I know, it’s a bit early, but speculating (and collecting ideas) is fun :upside_down_face:

So, Librem v2 (Fir) is scheduled for Q4 2020.
All we know is that it most likely has a shrinked version of the i.MX8M (and not the mini).
This means the PCB has to be slightly adapted to match the shrinked contacts.
And maybe that’s really all they’ll do.

I’m almost certain the case (and display) will basically stay the same, not only because Purism is not about “fashion” cycles, but also considering that apparently it takes ~6 months to create a molded case for mass production. It seems unlikely that they would then use it for just one batch.

The most obvious / likely additional change would be a bit more RAM / storage.
This would also make the announcement more newsworthy.

Another (somewhat reasonable) possibility would be a dual-SIM variant (possibly without SD slot, due to constraints).
Other additions like NFC or IR seem less likely for a v2 model.
Continuing to sell v1 at a reduced price, this could result in a nice lineup:

 
Librem 5 v1 i.MX8M Quad 28nm 3GB / 32GB / SD $499 (entry level)
Librem 5 v2 i.MX8M Quad 14nm 4GB / 64GB / SD $699 (regular)
Librem 5 v2 duo i.MX8M Quad 14nm 8GB / 128GB / dual-SIM $799 (pro)

This would allow them to offer a model for the more price-conscious, without compromising on the ability to regain investments.

No matter how they’ll end up doing it, I’m really happy they already have a version 2 in the pipeline.
It basically means, it doesn’t matter too much what the press will write in the next 6 months (which I was a bit concerned about).
By the time the v2 will be in the press, there will be more / better software and improved battery life (v1+v2), and the v2 launch should be much smoother. Maybe even with a EU location?
Can’t wait to see this happen :smiley:


#2

I don’t think we will ever see 8gb ram anytime soon, i think the v2 will be a 14nm i.mx8m with 4gb ram, probably less thick thank v1 and with a molded case, i do not expect other change between v1 and v2.
I don’t even think when v2 will be ready the v1 will stay alive, i don’t really feel these version are a real different phone like we saw with samsung or iphone, but just an evolution of the same project


#3

I wish phone manufacturers would start including IR blasters again. I miss the one on my old LG G3.


#4

Any idea how much these phones will weigh? Seems like it’ll be a hefty little piece of equipment


#5

dual-SIM will be nice but phone must have minimum 256Gb of internal storage to remove SD slot.
And this solution will be worse that functional SD slot because SD card can be replaced with more lifetime and capacity


#6

I don’t think the package size changes simply because you get a process shrink. Otherwise you’d have things like Intel changing sockets every time they… oh, right.

(extracting the sarcasm tag from where the sun don’t shine, I really don’t see the i.MX8M changing package sizes or pinouts after they move to a newer manufacturing process - especially seeing as how they billed it as an automotive device which gets a decade of support. That means keeping as much the same as possible)


#7

I am afraid the new technology process without redesign CPU core may be useless in energy efficiency like we see it sometimes in Intel tick-tock model.

Also Purism can be busy by developing card for Smartcard Reader instead of redesign v2 of phone.

What about to use audio jack to IR plug from iPhone/Android smartphone to adding new interface personally.


#8

That’s definitely not my field of expertise, but I assumed the shrink would be a new variant with again 10 years lifetime. Two reasons for this:

  • The shrinked version will likely have a reduced core voltage, which is the key factor for reduced energy consumption. This might already make changes to other components necessary (or if not necessary, allow to reduce the size of voltage control parts)
  • The shrink allowes the chip size to be reduced to 50…30%. While this might not be interesting for all customers, it certainly is for some. So I’d expect a smaller chip, at least as an option.

@amosbatto, any insights on that? :slight_smile:

@eagle I don’t see how they can reduce the height easily. If nothing changes except the CPU, there’s no potential for that.

@Gavaudan I’m taking bets :wink: Based on the 150g of my S3, I say 230…250g

@Lvovich, sure more storage is always welcome. I just see it as a way of easily pleasing many different wishes.
Are you sure you’re not mixing up TDP and and idle energy-efficiency? The latter should certainly always go down.


#9

Personally hoping for RAM bump + upgrade to Bluetooth 5, WiFi 6 support, but probably won’t happen if simply shrinking the current v1 die. Time will tell.


#10

v2 with 8gb is the ideal for me. That is a true desktop replacement for convergence.

Not because it’ll be able to crunch with power but because it can multi-task without the well drying up.

I’m just super happy for the current version. So much potential there. Can’t wait.


#11

AFAIK, we don’t have BT 5 / WiFi 6 support as there are no components available that can be used in a freedom respecting way, meaning accessible via a serial bus (without DMA) and / or without firmware blobs.
That won’t change within the next months.
But when it changes, you can replace the module! That’s the nice part about it.


#12

The nice thing is though those of us opting for v2 have more than just a few months, we got at least a year, so maybe that will change if it’s simply a matter of components showing up on the market in the next 6 months and drivers getting mainlined (as opposed to herculean effort of mainlining practically everything the past twoish years).


#13

Fair point there. I suppose the more stringent certifications would be for one very exact combination of hardware, and a newer model of the same chip would be enough to need re-certifying (and seeing as how they give 10 years of service, that does seem realistic). If the whole thing needs to be re-done anyway, you might as well shrink the package, drop the supply voltage and move the pins around to suit it.


#14

My shrinked/smaller version of a dream chip: NXP’s Quad Cortex-A55 (highest efficiency mid-range processor) with One Cortex-M33 (flexibility, control and DSP with Arm TrustZone) = Arm DynamIQ technology. Is this an upgrade for their i.MX series that NXP may announce by the end of February 2020? I would like to see this any time soon as an achievable improvement, yet I don’t know.


#15

Especially on the second argument i strongly disagree. The size of the package right know is probably not restricted on the size of the actual cpu but more on the size of the BGA (ball grid array) on the bottom for all the connections. I think they came in some kind of standards sizes, in this case FBGA, which seams common for SoC. And i don’t think that size is that much more of a selling argument for NXP than suppling a dropin replacment to customers. R&D is expensive and not having to redesign board is much more important to customers in most of the industry then saving half a cm on a chip i think.
And along the same lines i think for the voltage specs. If thy are lower they will probably in range which needs no nearly no hardware adjustments. (maybe some resistors or some config of a voltage regulators) But also just drop in replacements.

This is if its a kind of mark 2 i.mx8m. If they expand the line by a new model they might change the package size. The mini is already smaller and the x bigger.

So i don’t see much to happen for v2. The different CPU is enough to justify the version bump. Maybe more ram and storage but i expect that to be depend on the market price next year. If purism can get more in for the same price there is a chance otherwise i don’t see it. I also don’t see multiple models as they need to produce as much as possible of the same boards to keep cost low. And i know that it could be as easy as replay two chips on the board but i still tend to believe they gonna keep it as simple as they can.

So as sad as it might be i’m predicting a boring cpu upgrade and nothing more,


#16

“spec-ulation” haha :wink: welcome to the Librem 5 v1,v2,etc specifications speculation place where we split hairs and look into the cristal-ball. i’ll just enjoy what the wizzards around this time are saying and refraim from putting anything into words since i haven’t yet seen anybody do a proper in-depth review of the Aspen batch yet.


#17

In keeping with the title of this topic, I should comment that the A53 and A55 don’t do speculation, and hence should be safe from Spectre and Meltdown bugs (whereas the A57 does do speculation, and is vulnerable). :slight_smile:


#18

I think it would also be interesting if “i.MX8M Quad 14nm” supports AES. That could also improve the performance of the phone in general when using some kind of fde or encryption in general.

Apart from that more RAM is always good as @2disbetter said for a full desktop replacement
Disk space hm… we have a 2 TB SD-Card slot - why would we bother? :wink:


#19

The existing i.MX8M should already support AES.


#20

I would be glad if you can prove me wrong.

There is nothing here: https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/data-sheet/IMX8MDQLQCEC.pdf

There is a diagram with AES of the i.MX8 family - which does not mean that all i.MX8 have all the functionality listed in the image (https://www.nxp.com/assets/images/en/block-diagrams/IMX8-FAMILY-BD.jpg) and following the wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.MX) AES is only part of the i.MX 8X and not part of the i.MX8 M Quad