Project update 12 of 38
Thank you again for helping us improve the world of privacy, security, and freedom in computing!
Here at Purism, we have been busy working on production of the Librem 15 laptops, and we are excited to share the following updates with you. Most importantly, we need to let you know about about some of the configuration and design decisions we are facing, as well our findings regarding the physical hardware boundaries from Intel. We see this as a wonderful opportunity to work directly with our faithful backers, to not only create the ideal laptop for our users, but to craft hardware and software that aligns with our beliefs.
We are shipping the Librem 15 rev1 configuration within the next few weeks.
The Librem 15 rev2 base model will ship beginning in June. Models with different configuration options will be shipped following the base model.
If you have not received an explicit email about Librem 15 rev1, you are in line to receive the Librem rev2 configuration.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if it is unclear which model you are receiving, and we will clarify when you can expect to receive your Librem 15 laptop.
Some of the changes to the Librem 15 rev1 and Librem 15 rev2 configurations have directly affected the CPU, battery life, RAM, optical drive, and some hardware choices.
Librem 15 rev1 will support an optical drive and RJ-45, as represented by our images of the existing case. Librem 15 rev2 will be thinner, removing the optical drive and RJ-45.
Due to the design of our case, there was not enough physical space to fit four RAM slots. We can only physically fit two RAM slots in our case. As such, after production, we found we cannot support 32GB of RAM with the 4x8GB configuration. The company Intelligent Memory was brought to our attention (www.intelligentmemory.com), as they supply 16GB sticks, but we discovered those sticks only work with 5th Gen Intel CPUs. We then decided to look more closely at 5th Gen CPUs, which have 2 cores and a longer battery life. Our next step was to look into using two RAM slots at 16GB each to equal the 32GB RAM physical maximum. This was not possible, because Intel’s 5th Gen CPUs have a physical memory maximum of 16GB.
In conclusion, we opted for the i7-5557U 5th Gen, with 28W for longer battery life, and had to drop to 16GB physical CPU memory maximum for Librem 15 rev2.
As described above, with the hard limit in our case, the CPU physical memory maximum for the Librem 15 rev2 is 16GB of RAM. (Note: Refunding the difference for those that ordered > 16GB will be occurring within the next three weeks).
drives) for the 2nd drive bay. (Note: If his effects your order, we will be in contact individually to adjust your configuration and associated costs/refunds).
The hardware kill switch is an exciting feature. We know we can physically cut the circuits, however, the issue is where to put the kill switches to have them externally accessible and not get accidentally tripped, while also providing visual feedback as to the on/off status (either through a toggle/color, or through a hardware LED).
Modifying the case for this feature has presented a challenge. We are not able to place a large enough order to warrant case tooling modifications. So we then decided to look at modifying existing keyboard keys to accomplish our hardware kill switch goals. For example, we researched moving PRTSCR/SysRq and Pause/Break into Fn keystrokes, and using those keys as the hardware kill switches, but we were faced with loss of visible on/off status.
This brought us back to case modifications, adding an LED light when those keys are toggled.
We find ourselves at the original idea of case modification, employing physical circuit cutting hardware kill switches. We will keep working to solve this issue and will update you on our progress.
The touchpad driver, upon testing, works as a PS/2 Mouse. While the touchpad driver has proper movement and scrolling, the driver doesn’t currently support true multitouch functionality. We also are continuing to investigate a tap-to-click usability issue, and are working to track down the protocol specifications to improve the kernel driver, allowing us to use the hardware with the multitouch function.
PureOS is humming along nicely. We expect to have a release within the next month. The OS will improve default security and privacy protocols, as well as improve the usability of the UI.
The entire Purism team thanks you for your input and our initial collaboration on this exciting project.
It’s a privilege to be able to work on something like this, and work so closely with people who can have an impact on privacy and security in computing. Our innovations, our efforts, would not be possible without you.