Copied from the email I recieved
In our first four updates, we shared progress as we identified and closed engineering issues and manufactured our production qualification units of Framework Laptop 16. We’ve now shipped a large number of press units, for which reviews will start to appear later this month. Note that the issues we’re calling out below are ones that are present on press review units that are fixed on customer units. This means rather than cherry picking perfect units for press, we’ve ended up with some minor areas where you’ll see improvements beyond what reviewers have.
We’re happy to share that there are no new unresolved issues in this update. The main item gating the mass production schedule remains the CPU heatsink, which we have an update on below. Rather than doing a quick patch to get manufacturing yield above the threshold, Cooler Master spent the last two weeks overhauling their manufacturing process, building new test fixturing, and outputting validation samples. This means we have a complete solution to the original issue, but one which took a bit more time. We have the first production quantities of the final heatsink arriving at our laptop factory the week of January 22nd, and our goal is to output the first set of Batch 1 customer systems from the factory before the end of January, after which they will go to our warehouse to prepare for shipments.
This means that if the final qualification process doesn’t uncover any issues, we’ll send the first “We’re preparing your batch” emails to Batch 1 customers in late January.
No new unresolved issues!
- Yield issues on CPU thermal system - We’ve split this into two line items to go deeper into each. First, on the CPU heatsink, Cooler Master was able to adjust their vapor chamber soldering process to resolve the yield issue, and actually improved the thermal performance overall as a result. They also developed a new production test fixture to screen each manufactured module more thoroughly to ensure it meets the quality spec before shipping out. To vet all of this, Cooler Master is now preparing a small batch of heatsinks using the final mass production manufacturing and test process. These will be completed on 1/12, and to accelerate the system-level test schedule, will be hand carried from Cooler Master’s factory outside Shanghai to our laptop factory in Taoyuan. At that point, we’ll build them into a small number of production qualification laptops to ensure they also pass our system level manufacturing tests. To further pull in the schedule, rather than waiting for the results of the system tests, we’re “risk buying” enough heatsinks to cover Batch 1 and part of Batch 2. This means that Cooler Master is going directly into mass production, with us accepting and taking liability for the risk that we find an issue with the material during the system-level tests. This might sound frightening, but it’s a relatively common scenario in manufacturing, and appropriately balancing risks is a core responsibility of our Supply Chain Team!
- Liquid metal installation - In parallel to the CPU heatsink qualification, we’re qualifying the final recipe for liquid metal thermal pad and containment barrier installation. We’ve iterated on several configurations and put them through some extreme torture tests. For example, we ran Prime95 on units sitting in six orientations on a vibration table for three hours, we put systems through high-G shock while running Prime95, and we are running an extended period of thermal cycling. All of this is to build confidence that the final configuration is robust to handling and aging. All of this is set to intercept the heatsink schedule.
- Tuning capacitor noise - We found and resolved one additional scenario that could result in a high pitch noise coming from the Mainboard when using >20V power adapters.
- Touchpad row sliding friction - We found and resolved a material quality issue that could result in excess friction in sliding the Touchpad Module and Touchpad Spacers on and off.