Intel Press Release

Intel Delivers Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) Building Blocks For Cooler, Quieter And Sleeker PCs

BTX-Thermal Modules, Motherboards, Chassis and Power Supplies Now Available in Worldwide Channel Market

TAIPEI, Nov. 15, 2004 - Working closely with the industry to address the growing needs of smaller, sleeker and cooler PCs, Intel Corporation today introduced Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) products for use in the worldwide distribution channel. BTX is a new form factor that is enabling the next generation in PC system design and enables the industry to strike a better balance in thermal management, system size and shape, and acoustics -- all critical attributes to innovate desktop PCs for the digital home and office.

BTX enables platforms to run quieter, handles high-performance applications, has unique scalable system form factors and meets lower price points that market segments such as the digital home and office demand. BTX's key benefits address these requirements and are able to achieve those using standard components at reduced cost structure as compared to custom solutions or its predecessor platform, Advanced Technology Extended (ATX).

Intel will be shipping desktop building blocks based on BTX, including Boxed Processors with a BTX-compatible thermal solution including the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor 530J, 550J, and 560J supporting Hyper-Threading Technology. In addition a microBTX Boxed Motherboard, the Intel Desktop Board D915GMH, will be offered in two configurations with ideal features for either the digital home or the digital office. Previously, BTX based PCs had been only available from OEMs, but with the release of these boxed products, worldwide channel customers can now provide BTX systems as well.

"The current industry standard ATX was introduced in 1995, and as technology has evolved, new challenges have arisen that are increasingly difficult for ATX to handle," said Bill Kirby, Director of Platform Marketing, Intel's Desktop Products Group. "The BTX form factor specification was developed as an evolutionary step to the ATX form factor to address these issues, and we expect it to eventually replace ATX as the industry standard."

Intel recognizes the growing support for the new BTX form factor in the desktop computing industry from providers of systems, chassis, motherboards, thermal solutions and power supplies. Today, many leading vendors, such as AOpen*, ASUS*, AVC*, Chenbro*, Evercase*, FIC*, FSP*, Foxconn*, HIPRO*, Gigabyte*, MiTAC*, MSI*, Shuttle*, TaiSol*, Thermaltake* and Yeong Yang* have already adopted the BTX specifications and are offering solutions in the marketplace.

BTX provides an improved motherboard layout and chassis design that delivers improved airflow to high power components while using fewer fans and lower fan speeds, allowing the systems to run cooler and quieter. BTX also allows for the use of conventional cooling technologies that contribute to reduced total system cost. Additionally, BTX ensures the use of standard ingredients even in ultra-small system profiles, thus enabling a broader range of system sizes than is currently possible with ATX offerings.

Details of BTX design benefits include:

  • Scalability - BTX chassis, board, power supply, and thermal module ingredients with standard interface definitions are available in a range of sizes. Many different combinations of BTX-compliant ingredients have been demonstrated, resulting in Slim Tower, Slim Desktop, Small Form Factor, Cube, Mini-Tower, Desktop, and Entertainment PC system profiles.
  • Improved Thermal Performance compared to ATX - BTX places high-power components in-line, allowing them to be cooled with the same high velocity, low temperature airflow that travels from the front of the system to the rear panel. In BTX-compliant systems, critical processor voltage regulation components and the processor socket now have improved heat transfer due to increase of airflow in the area.
  • Improved Acoustic Performance compared to ATX - BTX is designed to offer lower airflow impedance, allowing for reduced total fan count, lower fan speeds and, as a result, lower acoustic envelopes.
  • Improved Motherboard Design - BTX layout allows for more room for processor power delivery routing and reduces routing complexity for the memory controller to memory from the I/O controller to rear panel I/O. The thermal benefits provided to the processor voltage regulation allows for designs with fewer components.
  • Improved Structure Integrity - BTX introduces a standard Support and Retention Module (SRM) concept, which reduces the probability of failures in mechanical shock, vibration, and long term reliability testing.
  • Cost Benefit - BTX layout offers low temperature, high velocity airflow allows simpler, less costly heatsink technologies. The standard ingredients replace custom ingredients for compact system design.

For more information on BTX, please visit the Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) Channel Resource Center at

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