Is framewrok affected by the shortage of PD controller for USB4/TB4?

A few months ago there was a shortage for power delivery controller for USB4 and TB4. This article gives details about the issue. In short because of the shortage many laptop makes had to use older power delivery controllers that arn’t compliant with USB4 but offer the same end user experience. Intel gave laptop makers the permission to temporaly use the older controllers with TB4. Intel also recommends to market affected laptops to only mention that the TB4 port is “compatible” with USB4 or to not mention USB4 at all. @nrp is the framework laptop affected by this issue?

Update: It looks like framework uses parts that fully support USB4. My fear that it might only support TB4 but not USB4 completly was invalid then ^^


The wording/communication from Intel is in line with the uncharateristically vague and brief wording from Framework regarding TB4 certification.

Framework mentioned that the thunderbolt ports haven’t been fully certified yet and that they can’t call them TB4 until then. The certification for thunderbolt can take ages for some reason on many products. The reason why i’m asking is that framework seems pretty hesitant to mention the USB4 capability. I first didn’t even notice that the laptop had USB4 until i read it somehwere in this forum.

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What would you do with or without said information? I’m struggling to understand why you are waiting for this information


Because the Laptop would only partially support USB4 if framework uses older PD controllers. Framework will most likely call call all ports TB4 ports once they have their certificate. But a lot of consumers will assume that it would fully support USB4 thanks to Thunderbolt which it doesn’t. There is also no guarantee that the older PD controller might not cause compatibility issues with future USB4 devices. I would prefer to have full USB4 support to avoid any issue that might arise from this issue. From a company like framework i would expect that they woundn’t try to hide a detail like this from the consumer like many other laptop manufacturers.
Maybe i should also add that i don’t care what controller they exactly use, only weather it supports USB4 or not

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I would say it is probably safe to assume within reason that Framewrok Framework is probably experiencing shortages of certain components, though which components at this time is unknown but also kind of irrelevant to the user/customer I think, but that’s my opinion.

On this though-

I was able to find elsewhere:

Technically the USB4 reference of the expansion card only implies that the laptop can use USB4, its not an outright confirmation. On the spec sheet of the laptop it only says that it supports 4 expansion cards. Since expansion cards kinda work like a usb dock you can make an argument that even though the expansion card supports USB4, the laptop might only be USB4 compatible instead fully suporting it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m 90% sure that the laptop has complete USB4 ports with PD chips that support USB4. But there is a certain vagueness in the specs. Thats why i made this post in the first place. To get the confirmation

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In reference to your questions regarding USB-PD, this article provides confirmation that the power adapter, which was made for this laptop specifically and is seemingly not a generic OTS brick, negotiates voltage using the USB-PD 3.0 standard - which also means the laptop contains the appropriate hardware to facilitate the negotiation.

As for the rest, I think it’s a very mute point.

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USB-PD 3.0 is backwards compatible with others standards. USB-PD 2.0 already allows for 100W charging over USB-C. USB-PD 3.0 only added PPS support which is more interesting for mobile phones than laptops. The framework is charged over 20V/3A which is already defined under USB-PD 2.0, so the framework laptop could very only use USB-PD 2.0

I don’t know the exact reason why some older PD chips (for TB3 for example) aren’t certified for USB4, it might be some missing features or the tolerances got more strict or something else.

I should also add that someone in the discord server has asked the support about this topic. Nirav has answerd “we are not facing any Thunderbolt-related shortages”. I feel like i should have made it more clear that i simply wanted a clarification if the USB ports are full featured USB4 ports or not.

Ok, I understand why you’re asking, that’s reasonable to want to know from a hardware standpoint. As you mention, I interpreted your initial post in a very different way.

The question of USB4-or-not has been addressed (but not answered) quite a few times on this forum - I am highly doubtful we will get an official response until all the TB certification is complete and official.

Little update on my side, i got an email from Nirav saying that framework has no shortage on parts for USB4. Since he used the word “support” i would assume that the framework laptop doesn’t use any of the older PD chips and thus fully supports USB4. My question is answered with that and i’m going to update the first post ^^