It seems like yesterday, but it’s been four years. It was 2012 and a company called Rhombus Tech was working on a card ARM-based low-power, able to operate a laptop, a tablet or any desktop PC simply by hooking it to the correct terminals. His name was EOMA68 and the first (and only) prototype used a 68-pin PCMCIA connector and a SoC Allwinner A10. The idea was to produce a low-cost hardware platform, that supported the free software and open-source design, allowing users to build “at home” with their notebook processor, battery, input and output.
Rhombus Tech 15.6 “Libre
Unfortunately, the project has had some problems and did not work as expected, but its developer did not give up and continued to work on the SoC Allwinner EOMA68 yielding (and not only). Recently it gave birth to the notebook Libre, based on a form Allwinner A20 EOMA68, the prototype of which will be presented next week in Brussels for FOSDEM 2016.
At the moment we do not know much Libre and its technical details, but certainly has a board EOMA68 with Allwinner A20 user-upgradeable, a slot for microSD cards for storage, 15.6-inch display (1366 x 768 pixels) and a small screen LED touch in 4: 3 used as a touchpad, full-size keyboard with numeric keypad, a USB external and two internal USB (for WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, storage …) and a 10000 mAh battery for a range of 6-8 hours.
Libre will run on open-source software, hence the name, and the prototype has already been demonstrated with Linux. To learn more about the project, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton (LKCL) shows some of the 25 moldings Libre and explains the problems he had to solve in the video below. The panels of the notebook should be built of bamboo. For more information check out the official page on Rhombus Tech