Framework 16 thunderbolt

I couldn’t find any information on this but i was wondering if this laptop would support thunderbolt when it is released?
I currently use a tb dock and it would be great if it worked with it.

The Framework 16 will only have AMD CPU options upon release. Thunderbolt is specifically an Intel thing. The FW16 will support USB4 on two ports. From my understanding, USB4 is just as fast, but it’s technically a different standard.

Edit: Also, welcome to the community!

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Yep. USB4 can be 20mbps or 40mbps. TB4 is always at least 40. Didn’t know that until I started following threads here!

IIRC the USB4 on FW16 is 40, for some ports - there was a diagram getting around. Back 2 for sure. A TB3 or TB4 eGPU dock, for example, will get 40 through those and it’s been tried successfully, elsewhere in this forum.

Meanwhile, some are working on an even higher throughput alternative…

USB4 is supported on the two ports closest to the screen.

Thunderbolt is essentially USB4 except with all optional features mandated and with a rigorous certification process from Intel (which is why it’s mainly on Intel CPUs, not AMD).

IIRC Framework has said that their USB4 ports support all USB4 features (40 Gbps, PCIe tunneling, etc) so thunderbolt docks should work.


Ah good to know. I just remember seeing some amd pc motherboards having thunderbolt now and wasn’t sure about this. But sounds like it might work.
Can’t wait till q1 now for my diy kit.

They can… but there’s a rigorous certification process. Framework as an org know this, they’ve gone through it before for the Intel FW13 series. So many do not. Which is the tip of the iceberg for the wider “What is this USB port really capable of?!” problem with USB standards.

I am hoping for a future Oculink rear expansion port. Should be pretty straight forward (8x PCIE 4.0).

That would be amazing. I don’t like the specialized thing asus has.

Since for the FW12, the USB4 ports didn’t pass all certification tests at first

I wonder how many certification tests the FW16 would/will fail. I hope we get the info at least with the mainboard deep dive.

I want to add the product page is fails to specify which optional capabilities are implemented when talking about the Interface

The CPU is capable of 40Gbits USB4.

Is there anyone who has experience connecting this laptop to a CalDigit Thunderbolt 4 or TB 3 dock? Although I primarily use a Mac, I occasionally require a Windows laptop for SQL server tasks and low-end gaming purposes. Therefore, it’s crucial for me to confirm that this laptop is compatible with my existing docks.

I’m also looking for clarity on this - every thread I’ve found and even the usually very thorough c’T (German Magazine) left this open:
I have Thunderbolt 3 devices (OWC 4M2 and OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock).
Will they work on non-Thunderbolt-certified USB4?

Attached to Thunderbolt/USB4 on a MacMiniM1, they work as intended.
Attached to USB3, they are visible and identify themselves, but refuse to work.
I do not have any modern AMD processor based machines with USB4 ports which are not Thunderbolt, I guess I’ll have to wait until my Batch 18 arrives.

Funny aside: OWC tech support refused to believe that the Mercury Elite Pro Dock was even their product and apparently has no internal documentation about it, even though I hinted that they seem to have rebranded it as Gemini. When asked about connectivity to AMD USB4 without Thunderbolt, they suggested using a USB-to-Thunderbolt-adapter. lol

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They should.

A Thunderbolt certification is just that, a certification. Properly implemented USB4 can be functionally identical to Thunderbolt.

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I have a WD19TB Dell dock (it’s TB3) and it works as reliably with the FW16 USB4 with TB3 passthrough as it did with Dell Precision 5540. That said one of the screens for some reason refuses to go above 30Hz while on the 5540 all screens were 60Hz but this may be firmware/driver, rather than hardware issues.