Continuing on our series of Framework Laptop 16 deep dives, today we’re sharing more about power. We built a brand new custom high-efficiency 180W USB-C power adapter in partnership with power adapter manufacturer extraordinaire Chicony. This is a jump over the 60W power adapter in the Framework Laptop 13, enabling substantially higher performance. The adapter body is just 116.6 x 58.2 x 27mm, and the enclosure is made of 30% post-consumer-recycled plastic. That’s exactly the thickness and depth and twice the length of our 60W power adapter, while outputting 3x higher wattage. Pretty incredible! Our PFC plus asymmetrical half-bridge flyback architecture uses ON Semi NCP1622 and JoulWatt JW1556 controllers along with latest generation GaN switching parts from both GaN Systems and Navitas, peaking at an amazing 93% efficiency.
We needed to solve for the tricky task of creating an adapter small and portable enough to be a great fit for the Framework Laptop 16 in an integrated graphics configuration while also outputting enough power to handle the Graphics Module with a discrete GPU. 180W covers the majority of use cases while still being extremely compact. If you have a Graphics Module installed, set your OS to maximum performance mode, and run a sustained heavy load, it is possible to draw from the battery while plugged in. If that doesn’t sound like a good tradeoff to you, the Framework Laptop 16 supports 240W USB PD 3.1 power adapters too, so you can configure your DIY Edition without a power adapter and bring your own 240W one instead.
Historically, USB-C power adapters have been limited to 100W. We’ve been able to make a 180W USB-C power adapter by using the new USB PD 3.1 EPR standard through a Weltrend WT6676F controller, enabling up to 36V/5A output. USB-C enables both flexibility and re-use. You can plug the adapter into either side of the Framework Laptop 16, and you can use it to power any other USB-C device you have on hand too.
Beyond reducing environmental impact through efficiency and recycled materials, we’ve enabled longevity by making both the 2m USB-C and 1m AC cables removable, letting you swap a cable if your cat chews through it. Remember to use a USB-C cable that supports EPR voltages, otherwise you’ll be limited to 20V/3A or 20V/5A. EPR cables have an e-marker chip inside that lets the system ensure it can safely handle both the voltage and current requirements. The AC cable uses the same common IEC C5 connector we used on the 60W adapter, and we have Type B (US/CA/TW/JP), Type G (UK/IE), Type F (EU/KR), and Type I (AU/NZ) versions available.
We’re excited to continue powering your right to upgrade, customize, and repair your devices, this time with 180 watts! We have a bunch of additional detail to share about the Framework Laptop 16 on the path to opening pre-orders, so look out for the next post soon.
More from the Framework Laptop 16 Deep Dive blog posts:
- Framework Laptop 16 Deep Dive - Display
- Battery and Speakers (coming soon)
- Connectors (coming soon)
- Enclosure (coming soon)
- Keyboard (coming soon)
- Expansion Bay System (coming soon)