Published in PC Hardware

PCI-SIG calls out GPU chipmakers over flaming plugs

by on02 December 2022

Nvidia Dracarys 

The Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group [PCI-SIG] has waded into companies like Nvidia for peddling products with the 16-pin 12VHPWR power connector, such as Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090.

In a statement to members which was sent to the press, the group stated, "one manufacturer has reported to PCI-SIG potential safety issues with its use of the 12VHPWR connection." It mentions an ongoing lawsuit, Genova v. Nvidia Corporation, which alleges that the 16-pin cables are "melting … posing a serious electrical and fire hazard."

It then warned members that manufacture, market or sell PCI-SIG technologies (including 12VHPWR connections) of the need to take all appropriate and prudent measures to ensure end-user safety, including testing for the reported problem cases involving consumers as alleged in the above-referenced lawsuit, the group wrote.

"Members are reminded that PCI-SIG specifications provide necessary technical information for interoperability and do not attempt to address proper design, manufacturing methods, materials, safety testing, safety tolerances or workmanship. When implementing a PCI-SIG specification, Members are responsible for the design, manufacturing, and testing, including safety testing, of their products," the statement said.

While this complaint is lightweight, it does put Nvidia, which claims to have had 50 cases of 12VHPWR connectors on its cards, melting worldwide on the back foot.

The company said it seemed that owners weren't fully plugging the connector into the graphics card and that it was "investigating additional ways to ensure the connector is secure before powering on the graphics card", as well as expediting replacements for those affected.

It's rare that an organisation like the PCI-SIG to send out a statement meant for members to the press. It's clear here that the group wants to stay above what could be a mess, absolving itself from blame and try to prevent more possible trouble.


Last modified on 02 December 2022
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