AMD begins work on DTX form factor

US-based AMD has begun developing a new small form factor (SFF) standard known as DTX with which it hopes to unify the SFF PC market.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 15, 2007

US-based AMD has begun developing a new small form factor (SFF) standard known as DTX, which it hopes to unify the SFF PC market with. The firm is making its standard ‘open industry’ which means any company can make use of it. Two variations will be available; DTX and Mini-DTX. At present AMD is only defining a few requirements within its standard, including which areas of a motherboard should be left unused, and the location of board mounting points. Other design requirements may be added in the future. The DTX and Mini-DTX specifications will sit between the Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX standards, with the latter still standing as the smallest form factor design available. The Mini-DTX form factor will only support processors with TDP (Thermal Design Power) of up to 35 watts. Boards based on this standard will be only slightly wider than Mini-ITX models. The company has placed no constraints on expansion slots for the DTX standard, leaving this decision down to each board manufacturer. AMD is however planning to integrate ExpressCard expansion slots into the DTX design. AMD hopes this DTX standard will offer greater flexibility and lower costs compared to the various SFF standards already on the market. In terms of flexibility the company hopes to achieve this by making sure that DTX compliant motherboards will be backwards compatible with ATX and Micro-ATX compliant hardware. Cost-wise the firm claims that between four and six individual DTX motherboards can be cut from an industry standard-sized single PCB (Printed Circuit Board) panel, compared to just two ATX standard boards, which will result in cost savings for motherboard manufacturers. The final standardised DTX specifications should be released by the end of quarter one this year and vendors such as Asus and MSI have already added DTX products to their roadmaps.

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