Intel has published the most significant update to industry power supply specifications since the initial ATX 2.0 specs were introduced in 2003. Updated ATX 3.0 specifications unlock the full power and potential of next-generation hardware and upcoming components built for technologies like PCIe Gen 5.0. Intel has also revised its ATX12VO spec to provide the PC industry with an updated blueprint for designing power supply units (PSUs) and motherboards that reduce power draw at idle, helping customers lower electrical demand.
What It Includes: Key new additions to the ATX 3.0 / ATX12VO 2.0 specifications include:
- A new 12VHPWR connector will power most, if not all, future PCIe 5.0 desktop Add-in cards (e.g., graphics cards). This new connector provides up to 600 watts directly to any PCIe 5.0 Add-in/graphics card. It also includes sideband signals that will allow the power supply to communicate the power limit it can provide to any PCIe 5.0 graphic card.
- New guidelines reflect the PCIe CEM Gen 5 power excursion limit for PCIe 5.0 add-in cards that was published in November 2021. Updated specifications include new DC output voltage regulation that will be necessary for managing new power excursion requirements.
ATX12VO 2.0 also adds the I_PSU% feature to desktop platforms – delivering an Intel-driven innovation previously available on mobile and server platforms. This feature provides benefits to small form-factor (SFF) systems that can’t employ larger power supplies. It also provides cost efficiencies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as they are better able to right-size PSU selection to meet system requirements.
- Why It Matters: With ATX 3.0 and ATX12VO 2.0 specs, compliant PSUs coming to market will be essential for desktop users that want to get the best possible performance from their next-gen PCIe 5.0 desktop graphics cards. These next-gen cards are going to be bigger and more powerful than before. Users will be able to maximize their system performance by having the proper power supplies in place.
- Beyond system performance, the ATX12VO spec is going to be integral to helping the PC industry meet multiple governmental energy regulations. Recently announced regulations for complete systems – such as the California Energy Commission’s Tier 2 appliance efficiency requirements – make it so that OEMs and system integrators (SI) must use extreme low system idle power levels to reduce desktop idle power consumption. The ATX12VO specification is one of Intel’s efforts to improve efficiency across OEM/SI systems and products for our industry partners.
The new specifications will have a positive impact for power and performance improvements across all desktop segments – from full-size towers to SFF systems – including a smaller connector, more flexible board designs and improved energy conversions.