NVIDIA working on an updated “12V-2×6” power connector with improved safety

Published: Jul 3rd 2023, 06:53 GMT   Comments

12VHPWR to be replaced by 12V2x6 connector

NVIDIA has a new power connector in the works, reportedly compatible with some existing power supplies, reports Igor’sLAB.

NVIDIA has been working on an updated power connector ever since problems with the 16-pin (12VPHWR) version were first reported. The cases of melting cables were narrowed down to improper connection between the power supply or GPU that was causing overheating. Due to this reason, the primary objective of the revised version was to enhance safety mechanisms that would effectively mitigate such instances to a minimum.

The company has reportedly been working on a new connector design for a few months now. The design called 12V2x6 is to feature more standardized testing to ensure that each version of this cable is designed according to the specifications. More importantly, this new design is part of the new PCIe Base 6 specifications. The new version of the connector is also part of the CEM 5.1 specifications as proposed by PCI SIG for the ATX 3.1 specs. It is, however, not the final specs and design, but part of the unreleased draft.

The PCIe Base 6 connector will be compatible with some of the existing 12VHPWR connectors, but the new version will have different specifications with adjusted sustained power metrics that may require changes to the firmware in power supplies or graphics cards.

12VHWPR (H+) and 12v-2×6 (H++) power connectors, Source: Igor’sLAB

There are no changes to the headers of 12VHPWR and 12V-2×6 headers, so cables should still be compatible, likewise both connectors will use the same 12 power rails, and four sense pins, which are now the main focus for the updated version. The most obvious change is the length of the pins, which were put further back, ensuring that they only work once the cable is fully inserted. Furthermore, encoding will have to be updated according to new standards.

12VHWPR (H+) and 12v-2×6 (H++) power connectors, Source: Igor’sLAB

NVIDIA and PCI-SIG are now evaluating two options for the cable connector design, which was not chosen yet. However, the current draft is at an advanced stage and the new connector might make its way to the first graphics cards starting from next year, possibly for what NVIDIA is preparing as a mid-series refresh.

Worth adding that 12V-2×6 connector could already be seen on some power supplies at Computex last month. MSI has showcased its new yellow connector that was seemingly designed to meet the new standard, as indicated by the new label of the supply.

MSI power supply with 12V2x6 connector, Source: MSICAPTION_END]

Source: Igor’sLAB

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