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CNVio VS CNVio2 documentation.

BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
40,151 Views

We are seeing multiple complaints of people upgrading from 9560 (CNVio) to the AX201 (CNVio2) and having issues, often completely unbootable systems. The confusion comes from Intel's own documents regarding compatibility. If you follow the support links for both the 9560 and AX201, both pages lead to the same support doc listing both products:

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000026155/network-and-io/wireless-networking.html

 

The supposition so far (because we can't actually look it up) is that CNVio2 and CNVio are not actually compatible and that CNVio2 only works on gen 10 laptop CPUs. I will be testing this myself but it would be great if Intel themselves could clarify the issue.

38 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User
33,393 Views

I would love to hear a summary explanation of this myself.

...S

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AdrianM_Intel
Employee
33,394 Views

Hello BHarr8,

 

Thank you for posting on the Intel® Communities. 

 

In regards to your questions keep in mind that you are trying to complete a wireless integration and it is better to validate this kind of actions in regards to compatibility with the OEM, in addition, the CNVI adapters have to be checked with other hardware components, the OEM will tell based on the CPU, OS, and other items the best wifi H/W solution.

 

This link has a comparison between AX 200 and AX-201 https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?productIds=189347,130293

 

 

Regards,

 

Adrian M.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
33,393 Views

You are answering a question I did not ask. I have no wireless card and no device I am installing one into.

 

I am asking directly and specifically....

 

What are the differences between CNVio and CNVio2?

 

BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
33,396 Views

I made some images to better illustrate my question.

 

First is the link to the AC 9560:

 

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/99446/intel-wireless-ac-9560.html

 

cnvio.jpg

Next is the link to the AX201:

 

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/130293/intel-wi-fi-6-ax201.html

 

cnvio2.jpg

Intel has very specifically delineated the interface as a CNVio and CNVio2. <- note the '2'.

 

There seems to be no public documentation delineating these two interfaces yet there clearly seems to be one.

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AdrianM_Intel
Employee
33,396 Views

Hello BHarr8,

 

Thank you for the clarification.

 

Let me look into it to better assist you with your question.

 

Regards,

 

Adrian M.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

 

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AdrianM_Intel
Employee
33,397 Views

Hello BHarr8,

 

I would like to update the thread.

 

The information we have available about AX201 can be found on the following link:

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/wi-fi-6-ax201-module-brief.pdf

 

In case you need the electronic information differences our recommendation is to contact the OEM of the motherboard.

 

If you are designing or building a customized system, we recommend you to visit our Intel Resource & Design Center.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/design/resource-design-center.html

 

Regards,

 

Adrian M.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

 

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
33,397 Views

It seems we are still not on the same page.

 

Lets say for example I asked what the difference between USB C and thunderbolt 3 are. You could explain the differences and in fact there is a lot of information online about these differences:

 

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/difference-between-usb-c-and-thunderbolt-3

 

Now, I am asking for a similar description of difference between CVNio and CNVio2 . What you plug into these sockets is a different question and one that I am not asking.

Wanner_G_Intel
Moderator
33,395 Views

Hello BHarr8,

 

In this scenario, our recommendation is that you visit the Resource & Design Center to obtain more information.

 

Regards,

 

Wanner G.

Intel Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
33,395 Views

Since Intel and Intel's documentation was clearly not going to explain the compatibility I decided to test and research this myself, here are my findings.

 

If you have a 8th or 9th gen mobile CPU and CNVio interface you cannot install the AX201 as it is incompatible. This incompatibility manifests in a complete inability to power on (confirmed on multiple systems). This wont be a failure to post issue, the system will literally ignore that you pressed the power button. Fortunately this is temporary as remove the card returns the system to normal.

 

If you have a 10th gen mobile CPU and CNVio (actually CNVio2) interface it is likely that you already have the AX201 installed (or other X gen wireless card).

 

In the end if you have laptop with a CNVio interface you likely already have the best wireless card that is compatible with your system.

 

TheSqueege
Beginner
30,848 Views

Thank you for doing this, I wish my money was going to you instead of intel. I got intel customer support staff on the live chat about this topic and they could not and would not give me a straight answer. They kept saying check for motherboard compatibility. Meanwhile the motherboard manufacturer says it's between the Module and the CPU having nothing to do with the motherboard aside from slot configuration. I am having exactly the same problem on my Z390A-Pro and i5 9600KF, once the AX201NGW is plugged in the computer won't make a sound like its dead or something. After module removal the computer works like normal. I even saw a post where the description of the module claims a 10th generation CPU is required however I wasn't sure if it was true until now.

sega1263
Beginner
30,784 Views

Make compare module slot contacts ,U will see on ax201  one contact absent on one side,compare to AC 9560  that might be a reason why laptop not booting ,due too inbuild protection .

I agree that is fail of some motherboard makers of particular models of laptops, not all of tham having that issue independ of processor generation.

 

 

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
29,918 Views

@beginner

There have been reported cases where a device using a CNVio generation 1 device have been successfully upgraded to a CNVio generation 2 device.

If you actually look into the difference is between CNVio and PCIe networking chips you will see that it has to do with what functions are offloaded to the CPU. Standard PCIe networking chips have typical universal PCIe compatibility while CNVio networking chips REQUIRE specific Intel chips.

The problem is that CNVio generation 1 requires generation 9 Intel CPUs and CNVio generation 2 requires generation 10 Intel CPUs.

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
29,916 Views

*There have been no reported cases

 

@intel , is there seriously no edit function here?

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Eltu
Novice
29,905 Views
Actually it does not require Intel CPU. I have one Lenovo ThinkPad L15 Gen1 laptop based on AMD Ryzen 7 Pro chip and I have AX201 WiFi chip installed in it. Works like a charm.
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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
29,896 Views
rayzorium
Beginner
14,315 Views

I actually have a 12th gen CPU with a CNVio gen 1 card. It's a Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14IAU7, with an i3-1215u, that has an AC 9560 - absolutely disgusting. CNVio is apparently not as tightly coupled to CPU generation as some sources say.

 

Also, a successful upgrade from CNVio -> CNVio2 seems really surprising, especially if in most cases, the machine simply won't even turn on. The successful data points I've seen have been CNVio -> PCIe, where the laptop being upgraded had an M.2 slot that happened to support both interfaces. That's what I'm hoping for in my case.

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
14,311 Views
That is super interesting. I only tested forward compatibility, not backward compatibility. So you can use a gen 1 card in a gen 2 slot, cool to learn something new but you are right about it being lame that a 12th gen system came with a card that old.
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rayzorium
Beginner
14,298 Views

Oh, I actually didn't consider that. I thought my situation showed that a 12th gen chipset might still have a gen 1 slot, but gen 2 slots having backward compatibility makes a lot more sense.

 

I had already ordered an AX200 in the hopes that my wifi M.2 slot also supports PCIe (should have spent a little more time understanding the product line and gotten an AX210), but I'm thinking I'll grab an AX211 too.

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rayzorium
Beginner
13,741 Views

Alrighty, AC9560 (CNVio), and AX211 (CNVio2) both worked in the same slot in my Lenovo Flex i3-1215u (12th gen and therefore has a CNVio2 slot). So just double confirming that the slot is backward-compatible, even if the cards aren't. 

 

Not that it matters for the discussion but I'll share this too: the AX200 I ordered was listed incorrectly and turned out to be an AX1650. No difference; the interface is the same (PCIe), and it worked on my laptop too. Useless info as far as CNVio goes but might be useful for anyone googling the laptop model to check its network card compatibility.

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BHarr8
Valued Contributor I
33,398 Views

I suspect that 8th and 9th gen mobile CPUs expect certain functionality to be offloaded from the wireless cars over CNVio to the CPU while 10th gen mobile CPUs have a different group of functionality offloaded over CNVio2 to the CPU.

 

Intel can confirm this with official documentation if they want, but I suspect that the extra sales due to people expecting compatibility will get in the way.

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