What new Expansion Bay types do you want to see released?

It’s also the same signaling as early gen hdmi without the audio part (for the digital version) and deepfried vga for the somewhat rarer anaolg version.

My number one wishlist item is a module containing an additional hot-swappable battery. I need this. Gosh, it would be so awesome.

And number two would just be some sort of module that would allow me to hook my laptop into a larger system sort of like a Nintendo Switch. So like, out and about I use a GPU or external battery or whatever, and the back at home I could “dock” it into some sort of system that somehow makes it just as much if not more powerful than a standard desktop computer. IDK what this would would specifically include, perhaps elements of GPU, power supply, and I/O ports? Could have them readily connected to an additional monitor or TV or something. Basically, a module geared towards at-home non-mobile use that’s not afraid to be an absolute hunk.

1 Like

That capability is already on 5 of your 6 usb-c ports. If you want to add an egpu then just the top 2 but the switch literally just uses just a usb+displayport dock.

I am aware. I’m just curious if somehow more processing power could be added to the equation.

You can hook up an egpu to the top 2 usb-c ports if that’s what you mean, or to the occulink expansion bay (community project) but that one also nees an usb connection for power and peripherals and you can’t hotplug that one.

I’d like to reiterate that the #1 thing I’d like to see developed is a hot-swappable battery expansion bay :slight_smile:


+1 for battery & oculink.
Also, ethernet & cellular that doesn’t poke out the side of the device would be great.

1 Like

Imagine someone putting a 100gbit nic in an expansion bay just cause it’s possible.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: What new Expansion Card types do you want to see released?

An expansion card expansion bay with an internal USB port for dongles, expansion card slots, and ideally flush Ethernet (although the flush Ethernet would result in other issues).

This could be mostly accomplished by creating new internals for the existing expansion bay shell (which is designed to have the internals swapped to have other features such as external I/O).

Unfortunately the expansion bay shell only supports I/O up to 8.65 mm tall, just barely not enough for Ethernet. Furthermore it would not provide easy access to quickly swap expansion cards without opening up the laptop (although given that there are 6 other easily hot swappable card slots I don’t think these 3 necessarily need to be).

So to execute this idea perfectly would likely require a whole new outer shell, which would increase development costs and break compatibility with the existing shell.

Giving up on flush ethernet and easy hotswap I think that 3 expansion card slots could be put on the back of an expansion bay module pretty easily, leaving just enough room to squeeze in an internal USB port for a dongle. That is especially great considering that 4 port supporting 4 ports is pretty much the stands for USB controllers so there wouldn’t even be something non-standard needed there.

1 Like

The IO port shield is 8.65mm tall, but you won’t be able to cut such a large hole in it without splitting it. Though the the internal height above the PCB is the limiting factor much sooner.
You have (assuming a 1.2mm PCB), 5mm above, and only in the middle, 1.4mm below.
I don’t think you can get a USB-A port that is smaller than 5.7mm, and unless you find (or bent into shape) one that only puts ~1mm below the PCB surface, you won’t fit a USB-A port on the board edge, if their measurements are exact. Maybe with the shell in hand you can find a spot.
However, you can easily get an internal port to work in the middle area, again using a thin sink-PCB port like the U234-091N-4BLT03-F5, where you have 1.4+1.2+5 = 7.6mm to work with.
However, I wouldn’t bet on too many dongles to fit that, especially since I’m not sure how vertically centered it would end up being.

Thunderbolt-PCIe bridge solutions exist but are quite expensive. I suggested for PCIe breakouts in the form of SFF8643 (Oculink) connectors. You can then design whatever cursed creation you have on your mind with said PCIex8 link. A PCIe mux (not that expensive, if you don’t mind going 1/2 gen down), add external power, and you are basically good to go.

This is in my original post, as well.

mid-mount (in-PCB) USB-A ports exist.
But my question is why many people so want to make dongle hiders.

You can achieve that by … making recessed connectors. Even a mild 3mm/5mm recess would eliminate enough of the protrusion from like a Logitech dongle to basically be a non-issue.

Furthermore, the expansion bay is, unlike expansion cards, not constraigned by the height of the machine. You can have the expansion bay stick out the bottom of the laptop. And since it’s a large part of the laptop, it have enough strength to hold up (the laptop), among others. Sort of like the extended battery packs of the old.

A lot of the ideas are repeated in the first few posts of the thread. It would help if somehow a poll can be made (e.g. Microsoft forms), and someone to organize that data into general categories.

Maybe me. But I don’t work for framework. I don’t need to trouble myself with this. It’s cool, but I don’t even own a Framework 16 yet. Still waiting on their Intel versions and/or DDR4 boards.

One does not exclude the other. And you probably don’t even need the pcie switch if bifurcation works right. I also hope that usb4 to pcie chipsets do get a bit cheaper once intel isn’t the only ones making them.

I have internally mounted a torn down unifying receiver in my t480s (stole the smartcard readers internal usb port) but one issue with that is that it doesn’t seem to suspend right and draws like 0.1w constantly no matter what I do (and that is running it at 3.3v instead of 5 which reduced power consumption drastically without any apparent change in functionality). Something like the dual usb-c expansion card but with one external usb-a port and a pocket to build in the guts of a dongle may be a neat idea too.

1 Like

Yes, I did mention that, and where it would fit and where not (board edge). So recessed port is not applicable here, since there is just no vertical space for that there.

With a big asterisk. Nobody will want to put in a 3D printed shell, so unless the GPU shell is sold seperately at some point, or some other company makes molds, nobody will actually want to use anything but the original thin shell.

1 Like

Why do you think 3D printed expansion shells are a no go?

If you print it in PLA it will likely warp due to heat.

Good things there are other materials than PLA XD.

Though for external parts of a laptop it may even be fine, you aren’t suppose to have skin temperatures above 50C anyway. PETG, and most of the HT-PLA blends should be more than fine and are about as easy to print.

I did print a fan diverter for my t480s which is pretty much a worst case scenario since it gets hit by the hot air directly and constantly and wasn’t able to deform the pla version, I printed an abs version anyway but it really wasn’t nessecary.


Something like the “FrameBase” (similar to the old ThinkPad UltraBase) that I suggested here: Framework I/O Expansion Dock? - #11 by James_LaBarre

1 Like

Yes, that sounds exactly like what I had in mind!

A Groq card. I think this wouldn’t actually be feasible but maybe if they downsize to PCIe x8 one can dream on.

(edit: realised bay is capped at PCIe4 x8)