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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.