Are the USB-C expansion cards actually any different?

I noticed that the USB-C expansion card on my FW16 has “48V 5A” written on it, indicating the ability to accept 240W PD which we have known is possible for the FW16 for a while. However, I noticed the USB-C expansion card on my old 11th gen FW13 does not have this written on it. Are the old cards actually different and unable to support 240W, or was this just added for clarity since the FW16 is the first to actually support that? Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see if the PCB was different between the two so I’m not sure.


I’m actually really curious about this my self. I have an Intel Gen11 Framework and this would be go to know for anyone upgrading from that platform to the FW16 platform.

I suspect they’re the same, since the HDMI and DP expansion cards actually have “3rd gen” on them indicating that they’ve been changed to help with power draw issues the first ones had - the USB-C cards have no such marker, just the indicator for voltage/current. I’d like to get an official answer to be sure though.

the only surefire way to get an official answer is to send a request to support. This being a user forum, staff members are not required to answer here. I would assume that they are are the same, as there is only one card listed on the marketplace, and the reason the old cards would not have been labelled that way is that 240W PD wasn’t really a thing when they were first created. The other argument is that the USB-C cards are just pass through cards, meaning that they would technically support whatever the port they are plugged into supports.

This is most likely just a short passthrough cable. The 48V 5A is written on the e-marker chip of the USBC to USBC EPR cable. The USBC expansion card has zero electronics in it. The spec written on the card is likely just for the show. However as Adrian mentioned

Thus, you might want to make sure that the connectors are reinforced if you want to use 48V. You can ask framework stuff members or read the schematics

I’m willing to bet it’s a basic PCB with traces and the appropriate soldered on USB-C ports. But yeah, otherwise devoid of active circuitry.

However, the traces (or wiring) needs to be potentially upgraded from the FW 13 USB-C cards to carry through the higher power current that the FW needs/can use.

Took a look inside, and yeah, pretty much just traces from one point to the other. Didn’t see anything else. I’m thinking the PCB is the exact same, probably just added the text for clarification.

The max current is the same (still 5A) so trace sizes should be fine. The connectors may be different 48v rated ones though.

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here is a demonstration of the insides of the expansion card

usb-c at 4:18

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