USB-C is ready to go all the way to 240 watts of power, enough for all but the beefiest gaming notebooks. But though the cables broke cover last year, actual devices have been 100 watts short — the 16-inch MacBook Pro and its compatible chargers have topped out at 140W per port.
Now, Framework is taking us to 180 watts — and the CEO expects 240-watt chargers right around the corner.
Today, the modular laptop company revealed that it will ship its upcoming Framework Laptop 16 with the first 180W USB-C PD 3.1 charger that we’ve ever heard of, developed in partnership with Chicony. It’s only twice the size of its 60W power adapter at 116.6 x 58.2 x 27mm, but with three times the juice, and the two-meter USB-C cable is still detachable despite it.
But that doesn’t mean the Framework Laptop 16 is a 180W laptop. The company says at maximum performance, with a detachable discrete GPU module installed, it’ll actually draw from battery as well as this 180W wall adapter — to avoid that, you’d plug in one of the 240W USB PD chargers that Framework expects will soon arrive from third parties.
“The silicon to enable these is now available.”
“We haven’t seen other 180W and 240W USB-PD 3.1 power adapters announced yet, but since the silicon to enable these is now available, we anticipate peripheral brands launching these soon,” Framework founder and CEO Nirav Patel tells The Verge.
The company says it uses Weltrend WT6676F, ON Semi NCP1622, and JoulWatt JW1556 controllers, as well as GaN switching parts from both GaN Systems and Navitas “peaking at an amazing 93% efficiency” for this 180W adapter. Both those parts and Chicony’s assistance as a power supply manufacturer are obviously there for other companies to use as well.
I wonder if this will push other PC makers to go faster. While we’ve seen proprietary 240W and even 300W solutions for fast-charging phones, 240W USB-C laptops were a no-show at CES and Computex from what I’ve heard. This new MSI Creator Prestige will apparently go to 140W, but it’s a year and half after Apple already did so.
USB-C PD isn’t the only place where Framework is pushing with the Laptop 16. It’s also trying to bring back snap-on removable extended batteries, all manner of modular keyboard deck parts, and the aforementioned detachable GPU modules.