Getting ready to ship 13th Gen and announcing power saving Expansion Cards

We’re excited to share that the first pallets of Framework Laptop (13th Gen Intel Core) systems and Mainboards have left our factory in Taiwan and are in our warehouse, getting prepared for shipment. If you’re in Batch 1, you’ll be receiving an email today with more detail on the next steps. If you order a 13th Gen system or Mainboard now, you can receive it in June as part of Batch 2.

New modules like the higher capacity 61Wh battery, matte display, and 2nd gen hinges are also on their way out of the factory and will be in stock in the Marketplace within the next few weeks. We’ve just published a new “choose your own adventure”-style complete upgrade guide if you’re picking up some or all of the new modules, alongside the individual guides we’ve released in the past if you’re just replacing one item.

When we announced 13th Gen, we shared that there were three things we did to substantially improve battery life. The first was moving to a higher capacity 61Wh battery in the i7 configurations. The second was taking advantage of the efficiency improvements that Intel has delivered with 13th Gen. The final way was through firmware and electrical changes, which we’re sharing in more detail today. A challenge that we’ve contended with since first launching the Framework Laptop was different combinations of Expansion Card selection and placement keeping subsystems of the processor or the Intel Burnside Bridge retimers from entering the lowest power states. After over a year of experimentation and prototyping, we’ve been able to solve many of these in firmware. We recently released 3.17 BIOS for 11th Gen systems that includes these improvements, and we have a 12th Gen update in beta testing. We’ll be releasing a final version soon that also includes support for the 61Wh battery. All 13th Gen systems ship with this improved firmware behavior.

To address every scenario, we have to go beyond the black boxes of CPU and retimer behavior that we have limited control over and modify the Expansion Cards instead. We found unexpected CPU and retimer behavior in which placing a HDMI or DisplayPort Expansion Card on the same side of the laptop as any card other than USB-C could keep subsystems powered, whether or not a display was connected. To solve this, we’ve modified these cards to now behave as if they are generic, non-display USB devices when no monitor is connected. This, in combination with our system firmware changes, allows full power saving behavior.

All 13th Gen and Ryzen 7040 pre-orders with DP Expansion Cards will receive this new 2nd Gen version, and we’ll be introducing the card to the Marketplace soon. If you have an original DP Expansion Card, you can follow this guide to update the firmware to achieve 2nd Gen behavior. For HDMI, the changes are more complex and involve both electrical and firmware changes. To ensure we have resolved any display compatibility issues before rolling out a final version, we’re running a beta test with Batch 1 pre-orderers who picked up HDMI. We have some advanced rework instructions if you’d like to perform the modifications yourself, but this requires some extremely fine-pitched soldering, so there is a risk of damage if you aren’t careful.

We’re happy to continue to build products that improve rather than degrade over time, whether you bought one of the first Framework Laptops in 2021 or you’re jumping into the ecosystem today.


I know FW depends on whatever tooling the vendor has available, but I’m somewhat disappointed that the DP/HDMI expansion card firmware tools are Windows only.

I wonder what these tools actually do, and if we can extract those firmware images out of them and use some other tool to flash the expansion cards.

(I don’t have any of the expansion cards, just USB-C, USB-A, MicroSD, and some DIY things)


The tool provided by our Expansion Card manufacturing partner is unfortunately only built for Windows and we had to obtain permission to release it publicly for firmware flashing purposes. We know this is not ideal for our Linux Community, but there was no other available option given it is their software.

You don’t have to have the Expansion Card in a Framework Laptop, and if you have a friend or family member with a Windows PC, you can use their machine to quickly flash the firmware. Just make sure the Expansion Card is plugged into the PC when you run the executable.

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For those it helps, windows2go is a thing and a pretty good solution for stuff like this.

Not as good as a native linux option but a hell of a lot better than having to install windows for it.

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Updated my DP expansion card. It was on build 5 and my monitor was plugged in and I had to run the updater a second time to update Image 2 version. This is a cool option instead of haveing to buy a new DP expansion card.


Has anyone tried using the software through WINE in order to flash the cards on linux? maybe a little risky but I’d be curious to know if it works. I’ll try this if I end up doing the modification to the HDMI expansion card but frankly I doubt I will as I don’t really have the soldering equipment (or skill tbh) for a job this precise.

I am a little sad to see that firmware alone isn’t able to fix the problem with the HDMI card, but I’m sure the hardware change was the only option. It’s good that this is finally fixed though, it’s been bugging me for a long time.


Love the post. Great to see Framework is still trying to solve OG issues.

I laughed at this:


Has the electrical scheme for detecting the presence of an HDMI display in the 2nd gen expansion card been validated when the display is actually a DVI one connected via a passive HDMI to DVI adaptor cable?

… we’ve modified these cards to now behave as if they are generic, non-display USB devices when no monitor is connected.

This is scary. Xorg doesn’t handle arbitrarily appearing and disappearing graphics devices well. I think hotplugging works sometimes, depending on the kernel modules, but hot-unplugging was a guaranteed disaster.

Yes, I know Xorg is supposed to be going away eventually, but for today, it’s pretty important that it still works.

Has anyone tested this against Xorg in Linux? Specifically, with recent Intel, NVIDIA, and (for the coming-soon hardware that I preordered) AMD kernel modules?

One way that could work is if the GPU output is always recognized by Xorg, but perhaps it’s not actually mapped to the USB-C DisplayPort or HDMI unless a display is connected?


Very cool stuff. The post mentions BIOS 3.17 for 11th gen as already including the mainboard-side firmware improvements, but I’d be interested to see if there are any further improvements coming for the Type-A expansion cards since they still see extra power draw over Type-C.

Also, since the Ryzen mainboards don’t support Thunderbolt and so (presumably) won’t have the Thunderbolt retimers, does that mean they’ll already be immune to the retimer issue?

I have had mixed experiences with Xorg and hotplugging - personally never had a problem with it in recent years unless docks are involved. Direct connections should be fine, sans any oddball adapters. If for some reason this isn’t the case due to specific displays or Xorg incompatibly, we will be recommending using Wayland as is default in Fedora and Ubuntu.

Yes, my experience has been mostly similar. The TFA describes some innovative behavior for USB-to-DP/HDMI adapters. Does that still count as a “direct connection”? I don’t know how the Linux graphics stack handles this. What does Xrandr see when the adapter is present, but no display is connected? If Xrandr still sees the output, then I think it should be fine.

This is not the place for a Wayland vs. Xorg discussion, but the fact is that Xorg is still important today. Perhaps Xorg won’t matter anymore when my preorder ships.

I definitely see value in having choice. :slight_smile: I also have been known to boot into both depending on what I am doing. I am delighted to see that both Ubuntu and Fedora under the GNOME desktop have made this a…wait for it …a Snap, to select either. See what I did there. lol

My attempt at humor aside, if you run into an issue, I will be hear to lend a hand however I can should the need arise.


Is there a more accurate shipping date yet?
I have to plan my business trips for the next weeks and don’t want to be on a trip when my 13th Gen is arriving.

USB-A cards aren’t mentioned in the blog post, which have been shown to increase power consumption when idle and at standby. Has there been any work done to address this?

Just successfully did the HDMI rework!

Is there any documentation on what the patch wire of the HDMI does exactly? I’m kind of curious


I just managed to do the HDMI rework. I first tried using some 28AWG magnet wire, but it ended up being too stiff to easily work with over such a short distance. I pulled a couple strands of copper wire from an old USB cable, twisted them together and tinned the ends. This worked much better as it was slightly more flexible than the magnet wire and took the solder easier as well.


I managed to pull off the HDMI expansion rework using insulated 28AWG, and while it is possible, I highly recommend against it. You’re probably better off using 30AWG or enamel wire for this; the points you need to solder to are incredibly small, you need magnification or 20/10 vision to perform this mod safely.

I also highly recommend against anyone without sufficient soldering experience or those lacking the right tools (flux, a scope, fine tip for their iron, enamel wire) from attempting this. It is very easy to bridge the pins on the IC, and you are going to waste a lot of time and potentially wreck the expansion card. I wouldn’t do this for anyone for less than $100/hr, with a hour’s minimum. Just wait and buy an updated card when they’re released.


It is very easy to bridge the pins on the IC, and you are going to waste a lot of time and potentially wreck the expansion card. I wouldn’t do this for anyone for less than $100/hr, with a hour’s minimum. Just wait and buy an updated card when they’re released.

By that logic, you don’t have anything to lose by trying to perform the rework first. If you don’t try, you spend $20 on the new one. If you try, you spend a few cents on solder and wire, and then you might spend $20 on a new card. There’s a chance that you won’t need to buy the new one, and you might even develop some useful new skills in the process, regardless of whether you succeed or fail.

There’s also a third option: ask a local electronics repair shop to perform the modification for you. If a new HDMI expansion card is $20, I’d pay more than $20 to have a repair shop rework my old card (not $100, but maybe $30). There’s an environmental cost to e-waste, so we can offer to pay it to a local business today or we can force our children to pay it tomorrow.

Of course, this all assumes that un-reworked expansion cards have virtually no value on eBay.


Most shops are not going to spend their time on a job like this for less than their minimum rate - ask me how I know. :wink: If you can find one that will, great!

However, I still maintain that it’s far easier and probably the same amount of money if you’re starting from zero to just buy the new cards when they’re released. I don’t know of any place that sells enamel wire or solder by the centimeter, and scopes are at least a hundred dollars.

Unmodified cards will not become e-waste - they still work perfectly fine as-is, and enterprising individuals who have the time and the equipment may try to buy them up in bulk at low prices for rework and resale. Amateurs with no experience who wreck a card trying to rework them will turn the cards into e-waste, however - it won’t be worth the majority of people’s time to fix destroyed pads on devices that cost $20 or less.