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Processors » System Design »

AMD Goes After DTX Chassis Standard

Desktop computers to become smaller, quieter, and prettier

January 11, 2007 - AMD is developing a new chassis layout for the desktop systems of the near future. The DTX specification will be published as an open standard, to be used by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers), and component vendors.

DTX will be based on Intel's popular ATX specification (Advanced Technology Extended). Backward compatibility of the BTX boards is guaranteed. Board screw holes, mount points, ports, and extension slots will be placed in such a way that it fits in a traditional ATX chassis as well.

Size Matters

Form factor Standard by Motherboard size
ATX Intel 305 x 244 mm
microATX, µATX Intel 244 x 244 mm
FlexATX Intel 229 x 191 mm
BTX Intel 325 x 267 mm
microBTX, µBTX Intel 264 x 267 mm
picoBTX, pBTX Intel 203 x 267 mm
Mini-ITX VIA 170 x 170 mm
Nano-ITX VIA 120 x 120 mm
DTX AMD 200 x 244 mm
Mini-DTX AMD 200 x 170 mm

DTX motherboards will come in two sizes: DTX (200 x 244 mm) and Mini-DTX (200 x 170 mm), allowing manufacturers to cut four or six boards, respectively, from a standard size PCB panel (Printed Circuit Board). The first will be used in systems with a design power (TDP, Thermal Design Power) of 65 W, and be equiped with one PCIe, one PCI, one ExpressCard, and two memory slots. The second will be used in 35 W TDP systems. According to AMD, motherboard PCBs will need only four layers of wiring.

Furthermore, DTX offers chassis and motherboard manufacturers more design freedom than the BTX form factor (Balanced Technology Extended). Although a better design than ATX from a cooling perspective, the complete BTX format was really never picked up by others than a few large hardware sellers. Since Intel stopped manufacturing boards in this format last year, it looks like BTX is bound to disappear.

DTX will be designed to shelter both AMD's own Small Form Factor (SFF) processors and those of others. Lower power should require less cooling. According to AMD, the current trend towards lower Thermal Design Power (TDP) and lower costs of computer systems will shift focus to quick and easy interchangeability of components.

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