ARM-based CPUs

Future is never certain :grinning: the US congres is now pushing more the right to repair like in Europe. Apple hzs been forced to create a page explaining how to repaire their stuff. I am not a max fan at all… But always happy to see industry moving in the right direction. Tmif the guys who invented the disposal trash are finally forced to stop it that s great.

Concerning arm laptop why not… But as open source projetct on the side. Some opensource guys using rasberyes or pine64 mayne adapting a board.
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I was also thinking of the possibility to just plug my phone on usb 4 and take control of the screen and keyboard with my phone

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From what I am looking at the repair program, it seems to be making it look a lot more tedious and daunting that it really is.

I was thinking since Pine64 had issues sourcing for screens, maybe they could have adapted their RK3369 SOC to fit into the Framework. I was initially tempted to buy a PineBook Pro now that they are in stock, but after realising that it can’t even compete with like an old Toshiba Z930 with a gen 3 i7, even with more core counts, I hope the next RockChip would be loads better.

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There is battery life. And what you do with it in real life :grin: i mean productivity. It seems that macbook m1 has a lot of the missing software from itd ecosystem…even thought they have the iphone arm world before. Which windows don t have…dince death of their smartphone os.
Reading the thinkpad review all is not perfect. And many software will not work or just lag like video games.
If you are using mostely the web it s an alternative.
Now paying 1500€ for it is a little expensive.
Risc V is even more far behind than arm.
Check pine64 and the upcoming rk3588 for arm.
https://pine64.com/product/14″-pinebook-pro-linux-laptop-ansi-us-keyboard/
I am almost certain pine64 will release aswell a risc V as soon as they madter their new risc V PCB

All in all, i think there is a big difference between making a consumer product likr FW and a tinkerer device…like pine64. Pine64 phone took 3 years to be kind of usable, and still its slow like a 2007 phone.
If this is done on the side by external companies like pine64 that woule be great

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https://pine64.com/product/14″-pinebook-pro-linux-laptop-ansi-us-keyboard/

This is limited quantity production due to a severe global electronic components shortage. Please do not order the Pinebook Pro if you’re seeking a substitute for your X86 laptop, or are just curious and you’re ordering it with an intent to file a return/refund return request. These pre-orders are meant for enthusiasts familiar with the Arm architecture and interested in the PineBook Pro for this specific reason. Thank you.

I think the note on the Pine64 website is really sincere. I like it.

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Regarding this, I wonder if we could find a way to fit the Honeycomb LX2 by Solidrun into the Framework, I would think outside of Apple Silicon and perhaps Snapdragons, this is the closest we can get to a modern computing system . It even has PCIe lanes and socketed DDR4 RAM SODIMMs for use. Perhaps the only concern is the GPU.

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This may come as kinda janky but I saw a few posts recently and these just linked up:

We get a RK3588S Single board computer (we need a low profile one or even a Banana Pi/Orange Pi core board) with some kind of cooler fan (not sure passive cooling works).

The reason for it is because it comes with a decent GPU for graphical acceleration yet probably a somewhat powerful enough ARM CPU chip that I think is easier to find, the other spectrum would be Snapdragons and Apple ARM but I remember the latter would definitely be more powerful but kinda closed and very expensive.

Then a PCB to connect the keyboard and touchpad to the SBC:

We connect the Framework display to the SBC via this PCB:

These two solutions seems reasonably low profile enough to fit into the Framework chassis.

So currently, what we are missing is:

  • How to connect the speakers/mic and audio jack board.
  • How do we connect the webcam.
  • How to connect an NVMe drive (so far all low profile RK3588 SBCs aren’t, at least I couldn’t find one, all uses some kind of eMMC flash or SD Card, I remember it supports up to PCIe 2.0 though).
  • USB extenders for some IO (might have to 3D print the expansion cards then get some extenders to the USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, there’s not a lot of IO on such an SBC anyway).
  • How to connect the battery and maybe a PCB to charge?

One idea for the SBC is we could crowdfund Firefly/Solidrun/Khadas/Radxa/Mekotronics/Pine64 (I am not sure if Orange/Banana Pi and other makers would) to make one for us but I have no idea how much that would cost. The bootloader support is another question. Though if we have to make a custom board, we might as well, make a whole new mainboard that is compatible with the current Framework chassis with socketed DDR4 sodimms.

Another way would be to custom make some kind of carrier mainboard like the Nexdock that connects to Framework’s components while connecting to a core board module.

Maybe someone with more technical expertise would give more input here?

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There aren’t premade options for these, but electrically they’re less complex than you might expect. The hardware side would be… pretty smooth? To make a bunch of break-out boards.

The audio board is just a jack that takes analog audio plus the hall effect sensor to see if the screen is closed. Just get analog audio out of your SBC in your preferred way, even just wire up the SBC’s jack.

The webcam is USB 2.0 (but with 3.3V power instead of 5V), just pull the right signals out of the cable. Microphone looks to be i2s audio, and the automatic light sensor seems to be i2c with extra pin for interrupt.

Once you have the signal lanes for PCIe exposed, I think it’s just as simple as providing power to the NVMe drive and hooking up the PCIe lines (and maybe the i2c sideband?). It gets more complex if you want to support SATA but this is complex enough already, thanks. If your chosen board doesn’t have PCIe exposed, you’re plum out of luck unless you use a USB adapter, or just boot off the eMMC, that stuff’s pretty decent actually.

USB extensions can be as simple as a cable, althought you’d need to be able to fit it through the USB-C sized holes in the laptop chassis to dummy-proof it. Alternatively, you could just specify that Only This Module Goes In That Slot for each of the slots.

Battery though, that’s a bit rough. Not impossible by any means, but battery management has to be customized to the battery it’s managing and the connector the battery uses. And then having the SBC be aware of the battery? An entirely separate problem that goes deep into the software side of things.

My concern regarding the PCIe NVMe was that eMMC is kinda slower (I used a laptop that used eMMC) and lower durability, not to mention I don’t remember it was swappable. The ability to boot off would probably require a workaround or BIOS mod.

Yea, it wouldn’t be off the shelf boards, so one way I hypothesized above is that if there is sufficient interest, we could get a huge custom designed daughter board PCB to fit the SBC.

The batttery could potentially require a secondary controller too.

Just throwing out ideas to make it a reality.

No I mean many SBCs already have an eMMC onboard or the option to have one. Just use it, forget external boot storage.

I mean like if we are gonna add so many daughter boards and extensions, why not :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s an RK3588S tablet by Fyde on Indiegogo now.

Maybe we would see a revised PineBook Pro with the RK3588S, or even a mainboard that fits with a Framework, though the RK3588S pales compared to Snapdragons and Apple Silicon sadly.

I wonder if Google’s work with their Tensor ARM mobile chips and them working with Framework on the Chromebooks could bring the Tensor chips as an option as a Framework Pixel Book in the future.

That would be really cool.

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I believe Framework should not deal with ARM if they can’t get SODIMMs for RAM

that has nothing to do with ARM, its up to whoever manufacturers the boards and the chips. ARM just design the cores.

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I know that, but you can get the point to what I’m reffering

I was thinking if we could get the chips from Google for Tensor, but getting socketed SODIMMS may or may not be possible.

There are socketed ARM systems like the SolidRun’s HoneyComb LX2k and Amazon’s Graviton, but those are far and few.

It would be cool if we can get a decently high performance ARM processor with socketed SODIMMs though.

How about something based on Nvidia Jetson modules? Those have RAM and some flash directly soldered on, but have support for standard PCIe, NVME, M2 wifi modules, MIPI, etc

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I think it would be the same as those RK3588 and similar single board computers, the ports can be quite thick, and many daughter boards required too.

Qualcomm finally announced the Snapdragon X Elite today, which is intended to rival Intel / AMD and the Apple M2 on laptops. This Ars Technica article provides some insight.

Would be awesome to have a fanless Framework 13 running on ARM!

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It only supports LPDDR5X. The Dell CAMM module need to be available to public before framework start to consider this chip, or Framework Laptop will lose upgradability.

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Samsung just announced their version of LPCAMM (different from CAMM but similar in some ways), already in development and targeted for a '24 launch. I can see an ARM FW in the next 5 years maybe.