Group: Hardware/research/laptop/Olimex TERES-I

From LibrePlanet
Jump to: navigation, search

Introduction

This page research if it's possible to replace a Libreboot Thinkpad with a TERES-I DIY laptop from Olimex and how much freedom issue the TERES-I has.

Research

Nonfree firwmares:

  • Internal WiFi: Soldered, nonfree firmware
  • Internal Bluetooth: soldered, unknown if requires a nonfree firmware

WiFi

Some more research might be needed to understand if it's possible to easily mount an USB WiFi card inside that laptop.

Storage

  • Does it have a SPI/NOR flash chip?
  • 16 GiB soldered eMMC
  • MicroSD (what standards / speeds?)

Status

TODO: look if it's supported by an RYF distribution.

Other differences with a Libreboot Thinkpad

Libreboot Thinkpad TERES-I
Architecture
  • i686 on some laptops
  • x86_64 on others
  • ARM 64bit

See distribution compatibility for more infos.

Embedded controller firmware Nonfree

Handles:

  • The keyboard
  • The power up sequence (voltages, power rails)
  • WiFi / bluetooth power on/off
  • Battery charging
  • etc
  • The firwmare for the keyboard and touchpad controller[1] looks free software. Though the source code probably needs to be reviewed and added to the free software directory along the way.
  • Power management chips probably have no firmwares.
RAM 4G, 8G possible with specific RAM DIMMs. 2G soldered
Ethernet Integrated Through USB adapter
Display Mate, good enough for working. ?, more recent / better?
Debug
  • UART in the dock on some laptops, or absent on other
  • It might be possible to add an UART through the express card connector
  • USB Debug (not very practical)
  • Reinstalling Libreboot can be time consuming on some laptops (~1day) while it can be really fast on other (minutes)[2].
  • External UART connector (multiplexed with something?)
  • TODO: What is the SOC/device boot order?

References

  1. https://github.com/OLIMEX/DIY-LAPTOP/tree/rel3/SOFTWARE/A64-TERES/TERES-KBD-RELEASE/
  2. It of course depends on people's skills, flash programmer speeds and so on but it's not uncommon to spend ~8h to disassemble and reassemble a Thinkpad T400 when doing it the first time, while it probably takes less than 10 minutes for a Thinkpad X200. Doing that is needed to install Libreboot or reinstall it if the computer doesn't boot anymore.