Does it have a free software boot firmware so as to be able to meet the FSF’s “Respects Your Freedom” criteria:
- Yes, it will use U-Boot bootloader firmware, that has “GPL v2.0 or later” license ( SPDX-License-Identifier:GPL-2.0+ )
What are the technical specs of this new PowerPC notebook?
- CPU: NXP T208X e6500 64-bit Power Architecture® Core Technology 4 x e6500 dual-threaded cores, low-latency backside 2MB L2 cache, 16GFLOPS x core
- RAM: 2 x RAM slots for DDR3L SO-DIMM
- VIDEO: MXM3 Radeon HD Video Card (removable)
- AUDIO: C-Media 8828 sound chip, audio in and audio out jacks
- USB: 3.0 and 2.0 ports
- NVM Express (NVMe), M.2 2280 connector
- 2 x SATA3
- 1 x SDHC card reader
- 1 x ethernet RJ-45 connector
- WiFi connectivity
- Bluetooth connectivity
- POWER: on-board battery charger and power-management
- CHASSIS: Slimbook Eclipse notebook case 15,6”
Do you have a custom case in mind, or you plan to reuse an existing PC laptop case?
- We plan to use a mainstream 15,6″ notebook chassis : Slimbook Eclipse notebook case 15,6”
Will the hardware design be open, or is the hardware encumbered by NDAs and this is merely intended for open-source PPC OS?
- The design is Open Source Hardware, but due to some NDA chip restrictions, some parts could be under NDA
- The OSHWA also refers to this particular problem when explaining the process of awarding a certificate to hardware for achieving the status of being Open Source Hardware:
“However, that does not necessarily mean that the entire project must or will be open source. If the creators used third party closed components outside of their control, they are unable – and are therefore not required – to open source those components. While it is strongly prefered to use open components when possible, OSHWA recognizes the reality that this is not always possible.
Can I port operating systems other than GNU/Linux?
How can I take part of the project?
- translation: website localization and social sharing
- media production: video, animation, image, text, slogan
- spread idea: publish news in your blog/forum/social, manage our website SEO, manage our official social accounts
- software work-group: PowerPC GNU/Linux applications optimization (test GNU/linux application packages, give feedback , or fix issues). Distro porting (U-boot, etc). Push sources to mainstream branches. Other OS porting. Convert Wii/WiiU, PS3 and Xbox360 emulators to virtualize thanks to the PowerPC CPU.
- hardware work-group: wish list and suggestions
- crowd-funding: how to, study other experiences
- group buying: how to, study other experiences
You can fill the collaboration survey
Have you attempted a crowd source campaign?
- Yes, we have done a Donation campaign between 2017 and 2018 and designed the electrical schematic.
- We are now doing a Donation Campaign to design the PCB of the motherboard. Next we’ll organize the Campaign to build the prototypes
- After we have the prototypes we will launch a group buying campaign.
What is the roadmap?
- Build a multi-disciplinary project team [done]
- Actions to spread the idea
- Start crowdfunding campaign specifically for mobo design and prototypes ( running from 2017 – estimated until 2020)
- Create a buying group
- Beta tester program for software optimization ( running from 2018)
Why is it now possible to build a PowerPC notebook from the ground up?
- Thanks to free software we already have (firmware, bootloader, OS, and many applications) already running on PowerPC with different video cards and devices.
- Thanks to some “small” motherboard designers and producers, we can order a small production run of a PowerPC product that fits in a standard 15,6″ notebook case.
- We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, using a pre-existing notebook 15,6″ case and by redesigning the motherboard.
- Thanks to the explosion in 2014 of different notebooks projects ( novena , pi-top, ARM64 Open Laptop Concept , Librem 15 and others)
- Thanks to the diffusion of notebooks based on ARM architecture and the Linux kernel.
- Thanks to the diffusion of non x86 devices
Will current PowerPC GNU/Linux distributions run on this PowerPC notebook?
- Yes, the Linux kernel already supports for the PowerPC CPU chosen for this notebook. Some work is needed for the integration, in particular related to the U-boot customization and the bootloader details.
What about a little endian GNU/Linux? Will it run on this PowerPC notebook?
- No, although it does support LE, modern distros require some functionality that are not available to this CPU.
Will it be possible to upgrade the PowerPC CPU?
- No, the T208x NXP CPU are BGA based so the only option is to be soldered. Note that motherboards for future PowerPC CPUs will be easier and cheaper to design.