A 4G hotspot is going to consume a lot of power if it is anywhere near the maximum 802.11n speeds. It will get limited usage before it is time to charge the battery. It would be nice if we could plug the phone into the laptop and the phone presents itself as an Ethernet adapter. With USB C, it can transfer that data while keeping the phone’s battery charged, and hopefully, keeping it less hot from having the radio do double duty. Excess heat shortens the lifetime of the battery.
Tablets and smart phones are typically data consumption devices. Bandwidth wise, that means we typically download small files and stream the large ones. Once the stream buffer is full, you just need enough bandwidth to keep the buffer near full.
For convergence usage, when data can be ergonomically produced, and large files are transferred, I expect a hub to be used to keep the device charged. That hub could include a faster wired adapter or wireless adapter. It might seem strange to use an external wireless adapter with a phone that already has its own WiFi radio, but the fast ones are going to use more power to transmit on multiple channels at once, which is fine if they are being powered from a hub, and not good at all if they are powered from battery.
So for scenarios where the phone is powered from its internal battery, I do not see a big difference between 802.11n and 802.11ac. That is why I want to see the jump from 802.11n to 802.11ax (much better battery life). 802.11ax will not only be significantly faster than ac, but more stable in crowded spectrum, and sometime soon, get a 6 Ghz band for 802.11ax and future WiFi versions only (so no contention on this band with legacy standards).
Actually, the new spec is for Wifi version 6 or IEEE 802.11ax. This is getting set for implementation. Whether the Librem 5 can be compliant with IEEE 802/11ax or not is as much a mystery as most anything else. Using the IEEE 802.an spec should be operable, though IEEE 802.an again, to become passe now is unclear as well. Perhaps Purism can be more forthcoming about this.
Currently, I am miffed that we have to play guessing games about some things that are clearly not a secret.
I would prefer to know the Librem 5 dimensions so that I could figure out a case to use, at least as a sheath if not as a tight fit case. Even this information, easy enough to share with us, has been held back.
I don’t think that there is much of the secrecy on their part. They just don’t have it ready.
In the recent conference with Nicole talking about the whole process of making a phone from a scratch, she clearly said that dimensions are not final. Given that they just received PCBs , it’s expected to have things tested and all. As soon as the actual “pre-production” device is ready , they will share the images and dimensions. Absolutely no reason to hide it.
Both the cell modem and WiFi are on M.2 cards, so in theory, it would be possible to upgrade to 802.11ax. While ax is more power efficient, if it is not optimized for battery usage, it might end up using more power. I would not expect Purism to offer ax as an option since they are designing this phone to operate without binary blobs residing in the main operating system. They had to custom order their WiFi 802.11n card to make this happen. But there is nothing stopping you from putting a card in that requires firmware to be supplied by the main operating system.
A real freedom would be providing all the information about the device that you could need in order to hack it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. RYF is all about respecting the user’s RIGHT to freedom. Which means that you still have to make your own freedom. If someone else makes it for you then it would be your PRIVILEGE to freedom.
The Librem 5 has low specs but that is a whole different complaint from it not respecting our right to freedom.
I understand design modifications are required, though I would have hoped that layout would have been finalized well before the present. Most phone internals are of rather small size and should not alter dimensions noticeably. Certainly at least as important, as the recent presentation made by Nicole testifies, is heat management. The outside of the phone limits or promotes heat exchange. In addition to its venting and its material, heat is managed by both fans in computers (not so much for phones) and by keeping design so that heat production is at circuit board margins. The phone shell, then is not something that is likely to be merely ‘slapped on’ late into production. If the shell and heat sink are not managed yet and if dimensions are unclear, one wonders when the Librem 5 will make it to the market. Certainly mass production by 3 D printing or by rapid design production can be made in hours to days respectively. After this, impact testing, heat testing and User Experience of device with shell would be ideal to make certain that no function decrement would be found from shell design. We shall see, but I remain a bit incredulous.
I am certain that some M.2 card can come out with the requisite IEEE 802.11ax attached since some computers utilize M.2 cellular cards for cellular function, even if smartphones do not do so. Some Lenovo notebooks have been fitted with these and I presume some presence of the same option can be seen in other similar devices, Whether they will be ‘free license’ of course is a different story.
The other issue is that of connectivity. While both cards use an M.2 slot, the cellular card in the Librem 5 will be connected via USB, and the wi-fi card will use SDIO. These laptop cards might use PCI-Express which is a lot faster, but eats more power and is explicitly not used here because of possible security issues (namely that PCI-E devices can access main memory and anything mapped into memory, such as some peripherals). I don’t know if we’re going to have any PCI-E lanes connected to the internal M.2 slots.
Yes, one can generally see the pictures of an M.2 card and most of the Modem cards are small. Similarly B-mode cards have rather thin second limbs to the left of the major limb compared with other modes as E-mode. For those not in the know here, only B-mode M.2 cards are likely to be able to be suitable for SATA use with E-mode and two other less frequently found forms not SATA compliant and E-mode specifically E-PCI compliant in form.
The software may function as a driver, but it is actually a Firmware. I do have to research as to whether there are x86_64 as versus ARM functions for this Firmware, though companies such as Sierra and Huawei are clearly making their M.2Cards for use only with SATA and Huawei seemingly only for ARM.
As to B versus E-mode in M.2 Cards, a good reference is-- https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/understanding-m-2-the-interface-that-will-speed-up-your-next-ssd/
It is clear that a simple eyeball will tell you B-mode and size at the same time.
Yes, perhaps the Firmware may not work, but I suspect that the seller can clarify that with you.
It is very difficult to reach Telit, Qualcomm, Sierra or other venders of alternate M.2 card modems. Most that I have seen are B-mode in structure, i.e set for use with SATA as versus PCI, even with older nomenclature stating at times e-PCI modems.
As to AEM or x86_64 ‘driver’ specificity, none of the modems, whether those used for cell phone or chromebook use (presumably ARM) or with Windows applications specify either ARM or x86_64 specificity. Many note that Linux and even Android platform applicability. Those that list Android platform applicability are in good likelihood ARM compliant, though I know that Android emulation can be made on an x86_64 platform. I have little idea as to what proportion of Android this is and doubt that Android platform specificity advertised by a chip maker would be made for the people employing an x86_64 system for Android use. I would hardly believe that the emulator would require a driver that the manufacturer would make for an x86_64 use with such marked need to note the platform’s compatibility as this is likely a relatively niche area of use for most with an x86_64 system. I cannot resolve the issue with the database of information that I have access to, but it is my reasoned guestimate that those chips noting Android compatibility are likely ARM compliant. If I can get Qualcomm or Telnit to respond to my requests, perhaps I can get a firm answer to this issue. My guess is that firmware is not specific to one or the other board, but only to access to some SOI chip functioning. It may only need to link with some standard used by both. I may well be wrong, but cannot tell this yet.
Nearly all M.2 cards with B-mode and then with SATA applicability (as versus those with PCI or DATA functions are all more or less similar size. My guess is that, while not small most are similar to Sierra Wireless EM7565 at 42 +/- 0.15 mm long (max) and 30 +/- 0.15 mm wide (max) and 6.5 g weight. This is by eyeballing general size versus the attachment sites which seem mostly all of the same proportions. This M.2 card is listed as B-slot compliant with larger part of circuit interface to CPU at 14.94 mm and smaller interface at 3.70 mm with a spacing of 1.2-mm between the two interface component stubs, each 4.0-mm depth from the rest of the chip. This all seems rather standard from what I can research for B-slot SATA compliant M.2 card modem chips.
Huawei ME906E comes in at the same 42 x 30 mm with at least support of “OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Android 4.0” as does Qualcomm EM7355 and HP XMM77360. (Whether or not these would work with the Librem 5 is unclear, but all of these are identical form factor. All are 2.3-mm deep. This dimension is called a Type 3042-xx-B design in the webpage http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/M2ConnectorBrochure201412181.PDF (p 6 of 29 of that Amphenol company pdf).
I had replied though not here. Summary is that all Modem cards that are ‘B slot’ or fit B key seem standard:
This dimension is called a Type 3042-xx-B design in the webpage http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/M2ConnectorBrochure201412181.PDF (p 6 of 29 of that Amphenol company pdf).
There is an E-slot that is similar in dimensions and is e-PCI, but it will not even fit the connection and has a different thickness to the small connector tab.
If one looks for the modems and simply eyeballs the business, one can see 5pins in the proper modem card in the small connector tab and 8 or so in the e-PCI version.
I do hope that whatever the situation is, that some clear chronology can be offered to the customer with either a revised date or with clarification as to the timing of some general order review process and interval to expect after this for estimated order fulfillment.
Given the new bundle business, i.e Pure Boot Bundle, I wonder as to whether this option is added on to give the same option to Librem 5 on order. See: https://puri.sm/posts/announcing-the-pureboot-bundle-tamper-evident-firmware-from-the-factory/