I'm also personally working on a Kintex-7 (FPGA) SOM. This will allow us and others to implement RISC-V or other architectures, incl. retrocomputers and carry them around in a laptop form factor.
The default part will be XC7K160T-FFG676, AFAIK it has some pin compatible family members as well.
I had a Novena, and it was not fun to find out since verious things were not mainlined, I essentially had to patch my own kernel if I wanted to use a newer one.
As we use (in the default, pluggable SOM at least) the same SoC as Librem 5, there are synergies to have good mainline support.
The CPU being a quad-core A53 architecture is basically Raspberry Pi - but the 3B rather than the 4; only 4GB RAM; only Full HD resolution. You pay $999 and that doesn't include any storage or even the wifi card.
The comparison with an entry-level MacBook Air is sort of horrifying. Same price but just a completely different league in almost every respect.
- promise of drop-in replacement SoC boards in the future.
- open specifications.
- batteries are trivially user-replaceable.
- mechanical keys.
- the option for a trackball as a pointing device.
- a high-quality manual.
Are those worth the tradeoffs? Maybe; clearly they are for some people.
The CPU/RAM module is not the price defining aspect here, and we're ready for faster chips when they come out. The idea is you can upgrade for a fraction of the price of buying a new device.
Am I going insane, or is our collective memory of user-serviceable computer hardware already fading?
It's mostly just a note of despair about how large the gap is; you really have to care about the open hardware aspect to make the choice.
i guess one major reason i'd be hesitant to buy is that i'm not sure i'd love a trackball, and i've been spoiled by apple's trackpads. maybe this could force me into practicing more keyboard-only navigation though...
It gives a bit of bulk and the setup wouldn't work for everyone, but I downright love the user-replaceable standard batteries.
- Telegram Web
- Glowing Bear
- (Discord, not daily)
- Youtube Music
I also use the KeepassCX and uBlock Origin extensions.
All of these work absolutely fine.
Or a pinephone when it has the keyboard attachments:
If what's on the back of the MNT is a Rasberry Pi Compute Module it would be more powerful than the Pinephone, no?
The shipping version seems to use Cortex-a53 while the development version seems to use Cortex-a72.
Does anyone know if these chips have Intel Management Engine or AMD PSP type backdoors built into them? I'm looking for hardware that is free of management engines and hardware and software backdoors.
Open hardware doesn't mean anything if the chip is sending your encryption keys and passwords to the NSA (or their Chinese equivalents) over the network.