New FP2 Motherboard

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don’t get this, so you can use 2 SIM plus 1 MicroSD? I’m confused by mentioning slot and connector

here we go:


Basicly these are 2 connectors, one of them got one SIM slot the other one got 2 slots, but is still a conector


I hope I provided enough information, so you can evaluate if you want to support my project. I can always provide schematics and even the board layout files


To the fairphoneteam:

If you don’t like my project, just because you don’t like the choice of my CPU, I can change that, I just want to use a CPU that has got datasheets that are availeble for everyone or at least one that isn’t manufactured by qualcomm. If you have a better choice for a CPU, I would be able to change my design


Did you have any hint from Fairphone that they didn’t “like” your project? I think the idea was to get help from them regarding sourcing components in a fair way. Maybe they (mis)understood your project as competition?


“We all are on the forums, thus they would answer there. But keep in mind what I said, if there is silence it means that you are currently making a “Leophone” compatible with Fairphone 2 parts, and not a “Fairphone 2 Leo edition”.”

Johnny wrote me this, he is Supervisor at the support.
Yes, maybe they undestand my project as competition, but I want to cooparate with them to make a new motherboard, I do not want to compete


OK, I thought you were creating a phone from scratch and I kind of forgot you “just” wanted to replace the motherboard… So I guess they see you as a competitor who could be selling its own platform instead of them (even though it’s not the case).

Then they should hire you :slight_smile: but you’d have to switch the CPU to one they’re used to (i.e. probably Qualcomm) because it’s a really big hassle to develop drivers for other CPU architectures (not to mention the proprietary binary blobs) and moving out of Android OS for a small company making phones is heading for big troubles (see the failures of FirefoxOS, UbuntuTouch and other great OSes).

I read that as bad news though :disappointed_relieved: but it makes sense for a company not to shoot itself in the foot…


The reason I choose this CPU is because the datasheets are availeble to everyone and that there are devices that run the CPU with similar hardware. Software development shouldn’t be too hard


Understandable statement from their side of view.
But nevertheless there should be cooperation between you an the Fairphone guys from my side of view.
Your design will just stand for an optional upgrade for the nerds of us. Most of them know what they do if they get one of your motherboards, so there shouldn´t be to much questions for the support team and even then, they could reply that it is a community based upgrade. Support will be done here at the forum.
Nothing to loose for the company, on the contrary it could make it into some tech based magazines like the c´t i. e. what would be like an advertising for Fairphone.


Actually I think there might two options if that motherboard is produced:

  1. Using the BIOS chip and an Intel SoC would mean that any vanilla Linux distro (even Windows!) could be “easily” installed. “Easily” means we should still develop drivers for the touchscreen, camera, etc. but it sounds doable from a Linux Device Driver specialist.
    That would probably rule out Android, as the x86 version looks kind of hacky (though functional, last time I checked)
  2. Installing an ARM SoC (for easier Android support) would probably mean much more troubles hardware-wise because there are no such things as “sockets” with ARM and it would mean @Leo_TheCrafter would have to design a new motherboard for each new ARM SoC that could be put on it. And he doesn’t want to do it (after all, his whole point was to upgrade the SoC…)


Yes, but not that damatic. If I want to use another CPU, I would have to change the folowing things:

  • Remove RAM (because most ARM processors have the RAM layered on top of the CPU)

  • Make the SMC independent (By removing the LPC interface)

  • Reroude the signal tracks for the other components

This is challenging, but still very doable.


A good argument from this POV. The opposite we can just realize with Fairphone having massive troubles to update drivers for Nougat which were initially provided by Qualcomm/Google.


I have to let off some steam as I regard Fairphones behaviour a bit schizophrenic.

I admit that you could understand that could understand that @Leo_TheCrafter is

but in the OP he mentioned that


So, I would understand that he wants to do the thing with Fairphone rather (ab-)using them or even bypassing them.
Regardless if he wants to make some profit, share the profit with Fairphone, cover its invested engineering hours or may donate all to Fairphone, I would appreciate if Fairphone had approached him as he published his sturdy and well-thought-out design.
As the isn’t any clear statement from Fairphone how the stories shall continue, FP2 upgrade, FP3…many are happy that decided

Moreover, many consumers regard the phone is quite outdated and the longer nothing happens the worse it becomes

so we are happy that he decided to try to solve this dilemma.

I’m saying this, since Fairphone posting many slogans about community driven change and sustainability. Just read through

There they say

We’re a movement, because our mission is to make something move.

Free Libre & Open Source Community
…It’s the mission behind the phone that brings people into the community; it’s the future inspired by the phone that keeps them here.

The real power of open source for Fairphone is that when we can no longer support a phone, our community still can.

Sharing knowledge to expand our mission

Combined efforts create bigger results
Exactly this can happen now at a scale what hasn’t happened yet. It would allow that a long established smartphone to be upgraded by the community through an as fair as currently possible supply chain.
In particular, as Fairphones manpower is limited they should regard themselves as a service provider for fair electronic production what is the key expertise of Fairphone.

So I would appreciate that they would show interest by at least stating some rules/guidelines how cooperation can happen.
Let’s say if the designer would like to get some money in return a minimum share would stay with Fairphone. Things like liability shall be well described, in particular, if Fairphone sells the thing, as they have to comply with European laws, beginning with the CE-marking.
In this particular case, they shall define a framework wherein a designer can freely move in order to get software support, as @Leo_TheCrafter needs it. Otherwise, it would need further community support. On the software side, there are different levels, so they could state, if you want to have support for this, the design boundaries are like this.

So I would higgly appreciate if Fairphone says more than just

I’m sure that would raise the encouragement of the community to contribute to the long life of the Fairphone models.
Who would thought that someone comes up with this well-thought-out mainboard design, enabling us to have a more than a state of the art smartphone before @Leo_TheCrafter did his OP?


There is a PoV not discussed at all in this thread: the question of this motherboard being fair or not. If you take that into account, I understand Fairphone does not want to be associated with a third party component.


Obviously it’s double the burdain to find clean sourcing and manufacturing process, but we’re not there yet.
The design not yet finished, I say this issue is to be dealt with further down – and definitely with the help of the company.

@PackElend Maybe they follow the situation closely but aren’t ready to give resources to this project (bear in mind that the FP3 is in the oven) – maybe they have their own upgrading project — maybe even they are inspired by this project.
But the silence part is what makes me uneasy. Surely the staff has an opinion – and while it may not be the “company word” it would be something to begin with.
Maybe they’re not yet accustomed with the new CEO.

Is there any public statement about the future of the company with Eva ?


I completely agree with what you say. I’m pretry sure they are aware, but experience tells me that they have enough to do with their own projects. Though I’d rather say that FP3 is more in the recipe design phase. :wink:


Designing itself as I see it atm. probably is yet out of any question about fairness as it is a private project. Once the manufacturing is ready to start though this question moves into focus and who else if not Fairphone could offer a better ground to implement a fair production process.
But to get that far a collaboration is mandatory.


I totally agree.
And that is something @Leo_TheCrafter has pointed out since the beginning.
Although I am not sure, if there really is a clear concept how to make this design idea come true and how a cooperation with Fairphone could be shaped.

I fear, if the motherboard will not be manufactured by Fairphone, there is but small chance, that it will be as fair as the original motherboard (i.e. at least with reagard to fair materials). Establishing a supply chain like that with another manufacturer/factory for only a fraction of the production numbers of the FP2 seems pretty unlikely. At least to me, that t.b.h. has no experience in this kind of market.
Still I am most in favour of this project and hope for success and maybe some kind of cooperation or support by Fairphone. Who knows, maybe there is some kind of talks going on, that we know nothing about.
Keeping my fingrs crossed.


this answer here, as listed by @BertG before

unfortunately he

so let’s hope that there are some software folks out there would may could help him.

I’m bit sceptical about

That would mean that they joining the game of releasing phone model by phone model as the other players on the market. Of course, they need to increase sales numbers to be profitable in the long term but they should not neglect their ideals.
This could be the chance to achieve something, not anyone ever before has achieved, giving a phone a second life but state of the art. This could help to lower their efforts if

Let’s hope that you are right by

This thread is becoming one of the top ones, it is already quite up in the TOP ranking.
I would say, the efforts here deserve some official feedback, if only little, telling how this story could continue.
In my opinion, he has only started something with no clue how to finish it, his hope is the Fairphone team.
I reckon what could help is, if he outlines in more details how the entire process, beginning with design and ending with the delivery and support shall/could look like.
@Leo_TheCrafter what do you say?


Actually, as much as I know, the design is not to be fair/unfair; mostly the production.

In my company we design custom electronic boards and I put software inside. The production is outsourced to a company to whom we provide all components (e.g. WiFi chips, CPUs, RAM, SIM, SD, …) and they have machines laying them out on silicium boards.

In my opinion, that’s the part where fair comes into play: the people programming the machines being correctly paid etc. and where they source their silicon boards from. Of course, choosing components that are “fairly” produced is also something, but you usually already know which components you want (e.g. this Atom CPU, this SIM/SD combo, etc.). There are several levels of “fairness” at each step, and what @Leo_TheCrafter did is choosing the best components, regardless of their fair sourcing. Then the help from Fairphone would be regarding the fair production.