Framework External PCIe Enclosure

A slight difference from a expansion card.
Because the Framework have 4 Thunderbolt ports, I feel like we can do some creative things.
The most traditional way is to get a Thunderbolt to PCIe bridge and fold a enclosure around it and whatever other “fragile” parts there might be. And if needed, strap a Flex/ATX power supply along.
The problem is that Thunderbolt3/4, being a Intel-owned protocol (Thunderbolt 1 and 2 are technically between Apple and Intel), is ran and strung together with Intel chips. And Intel, being Intel, refuse to give out datasheets for their chips (such as the JHL8540 Thunderbolt Controller) so normal people like me cannot just go out, order and build PCBs themselves to enrich their Thunderbolt experience.
(imagine that being a reality)
And being considered as at least a Resource and Design Center allow Framework to get access to “confidential info” such as datasheets for (as well as a button to order) chips (such as the JHL8540)
I feel like Framework should, at least, partner with some OEM (such as CastleRock) to make external PCIe enclosures. As an accessory not just to Framework, much like the razor core. Or at least, make the full-Thunderbolt connectivity a selling point.

  • Just Buy Akitio Node
  • No, partner and get Framework Box

0 voters

I can order the JHL8540 from mouser easily, actually had to replace one on a device.

Can you get your hand on the datasheets?

Jokes aside, these bridge chips are quite intricate. They run off 1.2V, I think, and consumes 1.2W of power.
I don’t know if they need xtal, too. they probably do.

Not really, just the marketing wank. This is what I can get Even worse, it is in a BGA package which is quite hard to place even for PnP machines. I can get access to datasheets if I sign a NDA.