Ingredients for Balanced Technology Extended (BTX)-based Systems
Building a Balanced Technology Extended (BTX)-compliant system will require some new ingredients, designed specifically to support the BTX form-factor. Below is an introduction to the ingredients that differ from those typically supporting the ATX specification.
In order to produce the in-line airflow which is the key to the many benefits of this new specification, the BTX form factor utilizes a new thermal module design, which combines a fan, heatsink and duct. There are two sizes specified.
Detailed information on thermal module size is available in the Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) Interface Specification which is available for download at www.formfactors.org.
The BTX-based motherboard layout differs significantly from ATX/microATX, and requires designs built specifically for BTX. BTX also allows for multiple board sizes utilizing a common core:
Because of the changes in motherboard layout, the new form factor will require unique chassis designed specifically for BTX. It will be critical to select a chassis that supports the chosen board size. A BTX-compatible chassis will require built-in features to attach the Support and Retention Module (defined below). Additionally, a Thermal Module Interface may be required. This is a ducting feature connecting the front of the Thermal Module to a front vent. It is needed to ensure that airflow exiting the Thermal Module cannot re-circulate and re-enter the Thermal Module Interface opening.
The SRM is a metal plate that is assembled to the chassis beneath the motherboard to provide structural support for the motherboard and retention for the thermal module. The SRM is expected to be shipped with BTX-compatible chassis.
Many of the ingredients currently used for ATX-based systems are also compatible with BTX-based systems. These cross-platform ingredients include:
Support for these various ingredients may depend on chassis configuration. Check with your BTX-based chassis supplier for details.