New Post: Librem 14 Update: Freed EC, Shipping Beginning in March

Please limit discussion in this thread to the topics in the news post itself.

In our previous Librem 14 update, we described some of the supply chain challenges we (and the rest of the semiconductor industry) have been facing this year. In particular we faced challenges with Intel CPU supply and most recently a few week delay in availability of our 3-cell batteries for the Librem 14. To expedite shipping, we decided to change the default configuration of the Librem 14 to give everyone a free upgrade to a larger 4-cell battery (which covers the second, typically unused M.2 storage slot) and only fall back to the 3-cell battery in cases where a customer chooses to populate that second M.2 slot.

Our more aggressive shipping timeline had 4-cell Librem 14s beginning to ship in February. The Librem 14 will now begin to ship in March. Evaluation of early manufacturing runs yielded an LCD false-alarm “ghosting” issue that took some extra time to research and resolve. When the evaluation step has no issue, manufacturing can stay on the aggressive timeline, but when there is an issue that needs resolving manufacturing “stops the presses” until we can confirm things are accurate before mass production. We added a few weeks in our evaluation step to confirm the highest quality standard in our products. We expect to post final product images soon, prior to beginning shipping.

Read the rest of the post here:

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Kyle,
I heard of Dell producing special Intel ME disabled notebooks for US government, where they cooperated with Intel and Intel had the ME already disabled or neutralized upon delivery.
Isn’t there a way also for Purism to get the processors from Intel ME-free?!
Or does Purism have to grow much bigger to demand that from Intel?

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That is the “HAP bit” you hear about when people talk about disabling the ME. We do that on all of our laptops as well, and before Librem 14 went a step further and also “neutralized” the ME by overwriting as much as we could with zeros, only leaving the critical bits we had to have to boot, remaining.

So Librem 14 will ship with ME disabled, and we will work to neutralize it as well, but it will take more time as this is a new platform with a new version of ME.

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Can’t wait!

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@Kyle_Rankin can you elaborate a bit on that for us newbies? For example would future software updates take care of that or is that a question of actually replacing the chip itself in the future? And does it not being neutralized mean that it could be somehow activated in the future and if so how would that be accomplished possibly?

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When we accomplish that existing owners would just reflash their boot firmware (coreboot or PureBoot), which contains the ME code as part of it. In terms of the risk analysis, I talk about that a bit in a different thread.

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@Kyle_Rankin are we looking at the beginning of March, or towards the end you think?

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I’m reluctant to make any more specific estimate than what we put in the post. If we felt confident in something more specific we’d definitely have put it in the official post.

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In the shop there is an estimate that in the post is missing:

Orders placed today ship end of April 2021.

Moreover in the shop you cannot choose 4-cell battery and you can add a secondary M.2 storage.
Are 4-cell batteries only for back-orders?
Chinese New Year is over, are 3-cell batteries available now together 4-cell batteries for starting shipping of first back-orders?

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Nice work. Good to see code from other Linux hardware vendors being used to grow FLOSS and open hardware.

for those of you who choose to go with the 3-cell-battery to have access to the second m2 slot note that in case you populate BOTH slots with NVME-SSDs you will have EACH of them be pcie-3.0 by 2x instead of 4x (which the faster NVME-SSDs do support).

in short you will be limiting each NVME-SSD’s speed by half (but NOT the access times - at least i don’t believe that to be the case)

is that correct @MrChromebox ?

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Close enough to accurate. Depending on the firmware on each end of the link, encoding/decoding messages over a x2 link will take nanoseconds longer than an x4 link, but it’s a small enough difference you’d have a heck of a time even measuring it.

absolutely not. One of the m.2 slots is connected to PCIe root port #9, the other to #13. Both root ports are configured as 1x4, and both can be used simultaneously in that configuration.

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According to the Intel web site for that CPU there is a maximum of 16 PCIe lanes available (in the supported configurations). I would be surprised if you could stuff enough hardware into the L14 or a comparable laptop to run out of lanes in the way that @reC suggests. Maybe if you have dual high-spec dedicated graphics cards … :slight_smile: but that obviously isn’t applicable to the L14.

I have been considering this laptop and had a question on the privacy screen option. Is it a film that stocks on top of the screen or is it built into the screen that can be turned on and off?
edit: apologies if this is the wrong place to ask

I believe it’s a thin sheet you can place on and remove from the screen.