Active Expansion Cards

Framework offers different types of expansion cards for the laptop. So far so good.
However, at least one source (Elevated Systems) noted that the expansion cards contain active circuitry.

Which, by and of itself, is not a problem. However, the active circuitry generates “issues” on:

  • Sleep/Hibernate
  • Presence of a dock
  • Thunderbolt
  • External display

As Elevated Systems pointed out, said active circuitry seem to not switch off when the laptop is sleeping (and consumed about 0.5 to 1W each), which reduces effective battery life.
There are multiple posts of the computer malfunctioning (e.g. improper shutdown, not waking up) when a dock is attached.
There is at least one post about Thunderbolt hardware not working when plugged into a USB-C passthrough yet functions without.
There are at least two posts about external displays not working correctly when connected to an expansion card.

For displays, there need to be active circuitry and that’s understandable. However, what’s it for the two USB passthrough? Is the host (USB4/Thunderbolt4) unable to process such signals? Sounds unlikely as it’s within their specs. Is it for the OS to identify what cards are inserted (via custom framework drivers)?

It will be a tremendous roadblock if I need to plug to the board directly (which is difficult to begin with) if I want “direct-connections”.

Regards to Display Expansion cards, the best “solution” is to not plug them in unless you have an external display attached. Which for me sounds fair – I don’t think the busiest of us will lug around their laptop daily and have some presentation to do every single day. Except those with additional monitors, in which case … well, “that’s unfortunate”.

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