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

Instead of rails on the sides of the card, what about rails in the middle of the card with one at the top and one at the bottom. The top and bottom rails don’t have to be long either and I think 10 to 15mm should be sufficient.

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Actually - the person that mentioned a little drawer slot has a decent idea. You could store earbuds, portable usb drives, sd cards, and other small things in there if there isn’t a need for an additional expansion card. Assuming there’s enough room to fit any of these in those small expansion boxes.


I would second Thunderbolt (since Thunderbolt is really USB 3.*) for eGPUs.

I voted for Ethernet and Audio in the poll above.


Would it be possible to have a whole numpad which could plug on the side of the laptop ?
I think it could be amazing.


@brochard Since the expansion scheme is based on USB-C, somebody could build one if Framework doesn’t get around to it.

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My vote would for USB-C and USB-A combination cards. The A could be used for all those legacy things. The C for the modern things.
Legacy - Keyboard, Mouse adapters, card readers for older cards, etc.
Modern, Do I even have anything yet?


@Edward_Gray Welcome to the forum. I agree; I’d love to see an Expansion Card with both A and C in it. It looks like there should be room. All those USB-A thingies are not going away soon!


I confirm it. My dad & I work with computers in Latin America & until now, i’ve not saw even a single home machine using DisplayPort, or HDMi. Only VGA!


FM emitter!
It might be fun to have an expansion card that can transmit FM signals.
Because, I could go see my grandmother and play music on her 50’s radio :smile:
Also certainly useful by car…


Theres an entire market you could attract by offering industrial automation ports as expansion cards. E.g. Profibus-DP, RS-485, Allen Bradley Control-Net, Bog standard RS-232 serial, RS-422, HART, Foundation Fieldbus, IEC61850 certified ethernet, SC or ST fibre ethernet, Wireless HART, DeviceNet, Honeywell Data-highway, DNP3 etc etc. There are many more.

All of these would mean technicians & engineers don’t need to carry dongles. I hate dongles. Everyone hates dongles. Offering expansion cards removes the dangling dongle and offers a professional look and ease of use in an already tough environment.


A expansion card for SDR would be interesting.
Also another idea would be a CAN bus module, maybe it is possible to make one card with 4 pins or so to hook up to buses like i2c, can, spi and what not. That would be then usable and chooseable via software. Similar to diggles post.


Hey, is there a chance that there will be a “big” expansion card who use two of the solts to build a big hub. I mean a bit like the hub from macbooks who are really firmly connected to the laptop and which you don’t have to remove every time. So that there can be several ports on it without using an external dongle or hub. image
I know that the slots for the expansion cards are not directly at the edge but maybe there is a chance that it will work.


This is a weird one, but-- wifi antenna? Like, those little circular things that you can screw antennas into?

I also think there is some explosive possibility here when you imagine dedicated software for exotic expansion cards: could you fit an electronics multimeter in there (minus probes, of course)? How about a blood-glucose tester? Oh! Oh! A self-destruct expansion card: a storage device which physically destroys itself unders certain conditions.


I agree, this would be awesome


Thunderbolt 4, so I can use my eGPU.


I would love the microcontroller expansion card! It would be very important that it’s failure-resistant and isolated from the rest of the laptop though. I wouldn’t want to fry my laptop because I accidentally shorted ground and 5V on the GPIO :grin: And I’m very curious what the connector would look like. Will a regular two-row 0.1” female pin header fit?

For everyone asking for Thunderbolt: The CPU already supports it by default on its USB-C ports, however in another thread @nrp said that they were not allowed to comment on that before the device passed testing and certification. As the USB-C modules are just passivepass-throughs, I think it’s very likely that the laptop will be Thunderbolt capable.

@diggles would this be doable using the microcontroller expansion card? A lot of these buses don’t seem to have standard connectors anyway, so just having an adapter-cable from GPIO to the desired bus seems very possible.

@ManUtopiK This sounds like an SDR (software-defined radio) right? I’m not sure about the legal implications here, you’re not allowed to send on a lot of frequencies. The RTL2832U seems like a decently compact option here, but I’m not sure the circuitry could fit into an expansion slot.


@iFreilicht, microcontroller is quite a broad term. Although it could work, it would probably be more of a hack, than a solution.

Most of the applications I suggested above use DB-9 or RJ-45 connectors. Others would just want wire clips on the end of a banana plug lead. The main difference between many of them is either the signalling (e.g. 485 uses differential signalling) or clock timing (some Allen Bradley DH or DF1 etc), or voltage (HART is 24VDC with a superimposed signal over the power supply lines). Isolation is usually desired as to not fry your computer - as you have alluded to.


It would be good to provide expansion cards that are just empty cases, would make for interesting DIY projects. A picoblade or similar header could be provided for the USB pins. Alternatively an expansion card that is essentially an empty box with a USBC port in them could be used for things like wireless mouse receivers / yubikeys etc. that remain plugged in more or less permanently, so you can avoid having them stick out the side of the laptop.


Small battery modules would be neat if you were traveling and needed to eek out some additional battery life.


How about a double expansion card, with hub features?

What I am thinking of would use both expansion slots on one side of the laptop and would extend past the laptop edge, allowing for four or more connections on one side of the device.
External keyboard, monitor, mouse, and something else.
Would probably be ok for lower data flow usage.
For higher data volume, use the single connections on the other side.