The Music in Noise

MNT Reform Adopts i.MX8 - 2019-06-17

For a while now I've been following the progress of the world of ARM computing, especially relating to personal computing. One of the projects I've been following is the MNT Reform (which I mentioned in my last post on ARM). The Reform is a modular laptop with open-source casing that can easily be 3D printed for replacement. In its original model it used the i.MX6QP, which had 4 cores with a frequency of 1.2GHz and the Vivante GC3000 GPU, which had up to OpenGL ES 3.1. However, in May for the re-introduction of the Reform they announced they would be upgrading the chip from the i.MX6 to the i.MX8. This has quite a few benefits to it, most importantly being the introduction of Vulkan support with i.MX8's integrated GPU (which uses free drivers). This means a lot more power for the ARM laptop, and shows how ARM can push into the realm of personal computing.

For most people interested in FLOSS computers, the MNT Reform seems to be providing a modern computer with freedom respecting hardware, while avoiding any kind of management engines like with Intel's x86 CPUs. With a GPU supporting Vulkan we can hope to see a laptop that will be good for FLOSS gaming as well as other GPU intensive tasks (such as 3D modeling).

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