In our earlier update emails, we shared detail on the key items we need to close to start Framework Laptop 16 mass production. We continue to resolve these, working closely with AMD, our manufacturer Compal, and our various module suppliers. Our first run of Mainboard production went smoothly, and almost all material is staged for the initial laptop units. The remaining parts are the thermal modules, as we’ve detailed below. With the first set of those in hand, we expect to start First Article Inspection (FAI) production next week, which is an operations verification system build with mass production parts and processes. After that, we’ll build a small set of laptops to provide to press reviewers. Once we resolve the final issues below, we’ll be able to then proceed into Batch 1 production and shipments.
One tricky part of the timing is that our manufacturer and our fulfillment partners both have year end inventory audits that block incoming and outgoing shipments for several days. We expect to be able to communicate a more detailed shipping schedule for Batch 1 in the next email update.
Power adapter compatibility - We found that the release candidate power adapter firmware (yes, power adapters have firmware!) has compatibility issues supporting >90W on devices other than the Framework Laptop 16. Our power adapter vendor Chicony is currently modifying the firmware and retesting. We consider this a ship blocker because updating the firmware requires a special fixture, and we want to ensure that we’re shipping a broadly compatible power adapter rather than using proprietary high-wattage modes like many notebook makers do.
Compatibility issues with a few games - In AMD’s validation, they found that on a handful of Ubisoft games like Far Cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Smart Access Graphics MUX switching isn’t working correctly, resulting in a black screen. AMD has a driver update in development now that will land in early January with fixes for this. This won’t end up being a ship blocker, but we felt it was worth flagging.
Fan production schedule - We’ve resolved both the “chirping noise on startup” and the “high pitched airflow noise” issues, but are still tracking the manufacturing schedule for mass production fans. The long pole in the schedule is the new fan controller IC in the fan that resolves the chirping noise. Our fan supplier, Cooler Master has started building a small batch of fans with the new ICs, and has a large quantity of ICs inbound to continue production.
Graphics Module compatibility issues in Linux - I’m sure you are all as happy to see this in “Resolved issues” as we are! Engineers at AMD were able to root cause the issue to a PCIe memory map-related setting in Insyde’s BIOS, and with a minor code change, the Graphics Module is now working correctly in Linux. There is further testing we need to do with this now, but we don’t expect it to become a schedule issue.
USB-PD firmware is in the process of completion - We now have release candidate firmware and need to complete validation to confirm that all issues are resolved, but similarly don’t expect this to become a blocker.
Power tuning during heavy loading - We’ve done additional power tuning with various power adapter wattages, and have a final table for production. This is likely an area that we’ll have further tuning on post-launch to optimize performance.
LED Matrix module schedule is trending late - LED Matrix production is now on track to intercept system production.
lets hope they ship at least first 6 batches in January. as i have timing issue , my friend will be coming in march to our country so that he can brought my laptop which is in batch 12. not sure how many users are in each batch . and how many batches they can ship in a month. i request FW to leave these gamming compatibility issues and GPU issues and focus on production as majority user have pre orders without GPU ,
Actually I asked the same question in the forums upon the announcement of the 16’s pre-orders, and I was told by Nirav that they would in fact have a MUX, but what I could not find (and honestly didn’t expect) was Smart Access Graphics, which is a MUX where rebooting isn’t necessary to switch the output to the built-in screen.
This makes me really excited for my 16 inch model! Bring on the batch 1!
I’m not sure if you’re referring to when they get out the first batches or the statement regarding getting out all first 6 batches. I agree with the latter but for the former, from the progress they’ve been sharing, it seems like a matter of maybe ~2 weeks before the first batch gets the email for being charged.
Ah sorry yes I should have been more clear, I meant the latter. It will probably be a few weeks to a month before the first batch, and then optimistically 2 weeks/batch after that. So batch 6 is probably a few months out.
Fingers crossed but FW16 is a pretty new product, they’ve had plenty of practice with FW13. We’ll see, but even 1 week/batch after the first batch ships in (2 weeks? a month?) puts batch 6 2-2.5 months out
Edit: for the record, I think this is a very reasonable timeline and it’s by no means slow. Just trying to ground expectations
I have a feeling that Batch 1 will probably ship no later than January. Its a bit disappointing, as now I’ll have no gaming laptop from the first week of January (I have to return it by the 10th) until the Framework Laptop 16 arrives, but I can’t justify owning two new laptops…
I would hope it isn’t a month before batch 1 ships, but after that I suspect by batch 3 it will be a batch a week like it was with the FW13 AMD.
Certainly when you look at the time period over which they were anticipating delivering the FW16 it was 12 batches in two quarters, which does work out to around 2 weeks/batch, but that was also with the expectation of producing FW13 AMD at the same time for the first quarter.