News regarding Librem5 on Chaos Communication Camp 2019

Nicole gave a talk regarding the Librem5 at CCCamp2019, yesterday.
Btw. I’m surprised that nobody has reported this already.

A recording of this talk can be found here (link goes to


@s206 thanks for that!
Some tidbits:

  • Nice overall lecture on the mobile chip industry and the challenges of doing something different.
  • A few interesting comments on limits of hacking in mobile.
  • Regarding delivery [the info I desperately tried to find hidden somewhere ;)], two hints: “electronics lead times up to 20 weeks” -> which I take to meaning decisions to make final product have been made long ago, and that, if there are any problems with hardware, a 5-6 month timeframe is to be expected, PLUS video includes first ever public pics [see slides at 20:07 and 20:32 on video] of (possible) final versions of pcb… My analysis: green is a nice color :slight_smile:
    This should get us through the weekend / untill next blog post, right…?

Very interesting and good insight on the background of making that phone.

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this is the pcb from video



  • seems to be both sides of upper half (if 3,5mm jack is placed up - as I see logical)
  • lower pic has 3,5mm jack and the famous three switches
  • usb-c seems to be on the other end as it’s not seen here edit: [or on separate or… see later]
  • cardslots are close to midway on both sides
  • according to video, pcb has 10 layers, but considering various missing parts and brief glimps of tentative measurements (147x72x15mm) of ready device, this won’t be the slimmest - remembering to add 3-5mm for case…
  • several standard connectors for flat cables meas a lot of parts that are easily disassembled
  • interesting structure to have the main pcb as a half - could that be a decision designed to increase make it resistant to bending?
  • no art, no logos, no hidden messages…?

M.2 BAY BEEEEEE nice board


Where do you see a 3,5mm Jack? (May be the battery connector?)
I would say audio jack and USB-C Jack are on seperate PCBs.

For me it looks like power and volume buttons are also an seperate PCBs.

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You’re wayYYYY too into that :wink:


@Cc281080 I could be mistaken. I interpreted the lower pictures lower right corned part with black/gold “stripes” and rounded look to be the jack.

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I wouldn’t mind having the usb-port as a separate piece that goes into that empty slot next to the trashcan image. Might mean that it’s very easily replaceable if (and when) it ever goes bad. But could be on a another pcb, too, I suppose.

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I would say that this is a battery connector.
Which means microSD, SIM and SmartCard Slot are an the top. And the rounded PCB parts would be on the bottom.

Hopefully we will get News with descriptions soon.

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All rounded corners are likely to be on the outer corners (as those long outer edges are taken/cut off), so cards wouldn’t be there on the top. It’s fun to ques, but agreed that official labels and intro would be nice.


Are those screen shots of the PCB from the highest resolution video available? Everything is just blurry enough that I can’t read the writing on the chips. )-:

I can see a Micron chip next to the NXP i.MX 8M Quad, which I’m guessing is LPDDR4 DRAM, but searching for “Micron 8MB77” didn’t find anything. I can identify the STmicroelectronics Teseo LIF8 GNSS, but I can’t find the RedPine Signals RS9116 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. I assume that the SMSC chip is for charging/discharging the battery.


The Wifi/BT chip is currently on vacation, surfing the web on its M.2 board. :wink:

I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems we have two M.2 connectors, and Nicole confirms that at 17:00.

The Micron 8MB77 has the FBGA code D9VTN which translates to MT53B768M32D4NQ-062 WT:B - 3GB of RAM, close to the CPU.

On the back side, there’s the 32GB eMMC, 1705KAE THGBMHG8C2LBAIL


According to, there are quite a few feature phones that are thicker, but there is currently only 1 other smartphone with a large touch screen on the market that is 15mm and two that are thicker. They are all ruggedized phones:

  • Energizer Energy 400 LTE, 15mm, 4.0", 2500mAh
  • Yezz Epic T, 15.9mm, 5.5", 9000mAh
  • Sonim XP8, 18mm, 5.0", 4900mAh

Glad to hear that Purism is aiming for 10k of phones, which confirms what Caliga has been saying.

The one thing that surprised me from the talk is that there aren’t many companies that can fabricate complex boards like Purism has, because they had to cram so many components on the board. I feel like we are getting something really special with the Librem 5.

The Purism board isn’t nearly as tight as the PCB in the Galaxy S10+ and other smartphone flagships, but I’m guessing that the big companies have access to state-of-the-art board manufacturing.


That second M.2 for the Wi-Fi is awesome. I wonder if Purism was contacted by a lot of people who want to play around with other frequencies. I’m hoping that someone will figure out how to make free drivers for 802.11ac/ad in the future.

Thanks for hunting down the chips. Too bad that it will be nearly impossible to change the RAM and SSD chips since they are BGA.


I see one one M.2 M Key facing downward, so presumably it will hold the cellular modem on top of the battery.

What doesn’t make sense to me is that the second M.2 B Key is facing upward, so the M.2 card holding the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth will extend beyond the top of the phone.

Am I seeing this wrong?

EDIT: Yes, I was seeing it wrong. See romnasko’s image below.

Another detail in the video that surprised me is that Faerber mentioned that there will be a STM32L432KC, which is a 80MHz Cortex-M4 for reading the smart card and they want to create free firmware for it. I didn’t think that it would be necessary to have another processing core just to read a smart card. I would have expected that the cores in the SoC to be able to handle that, but apparently not.


Most likely. The slot cannot possibly face towards the gold-black-jack. That would be a design fail.
So, unintuitively it seems to face the other direction. Possibly, both M.2 cards are fixed by those two big screw spacer thingies. That would make sense to me.

In accordance with the reveal video PCB capture, it seems it’ll be

  • Display (USB-C front cam top-left, phone jack top-right, kill switches right (you gotta do 'em right…))
  • PCB bottom: i.MX8, 3GB RAM, slots: wifi/BT, baseband
  • PCB top: 32GB eMMC, slots: SIM, SD card, smart card
  • – open here –
  • back shell

It surprises me a bit that the CPU would emit heat towards the display. I had somehow assumed it would face towards the back. We’ll see. :sunglasses:


Why do you think the cpu is on the side of the display?

Like I said. The linked reveal video very much indicates this. Also, I just noticed in the day 16 reveal video that the cavity in the top left of the PCB is most likely not for the USB-C, but rather the front facing camera (or even both cameras).