Computer processor manufacturer AMD is developing a new standard for motherboards it hopes will lead to smaller, quieter, energy-efficient desktop computers.
'We're thinking we should redefine what a desktop is. There's part of the market that wants a sleek look and feel but also wants the performance and upgradeability of a desktop.' -AMD's Leslie Sobon
AMD, which is based in California, unveiled the new open standard, called DTX, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
DTX will work with both AMD and rival Intel processors and will allow manufacturers of smaller motherboards to easily configure parts from different companies.
AMD hopes the move will reverse the declining market for desktop computers by producing products that appeal to consumers.
"Desktop purchases are on the decline as notebooks rise," AMD's Leslie Sobon told CBC News Online at the CES on Thursday.
"We're thinking we should redefine what a desktop is," said Sobon, the director of product and brand management for AMD's desktop division.
"There's part of the market that wants a sleek look and feel but also wants the performance and upgradeability of a desktop."
Notebooks and laptops tend to have much smaller, integrated motherboards that are not compatible with existing standards, making them difficult to upgrade.
'The DTX standard will … allow an optimally designed small form factor system to consume less power and generate less noise.' -AMD
And most desktops still have motherboards that operate using a standard laid out in 1995 by Intel called ATX, which stands for Advanced Technology Extended. ATX was designed to allow everything from memory cards to mouse ports to have a standardized spot alongside the central processing unit on a typical desktop motherboard.
While there have been other standards since, ATX remains the most common standard for desktops, though its design is not suited for smaller, more energy-efficient desktops, AMD said.
"The DTX standard will be designed to embrace energy-efficient processors from AMD or other hardware vendors, and allow an optimally designed small form factor system to consume less power and generate less noise," the company said in a release Thursday.
"When processor power consumption is reduced, system size and cooling costs can also go down. Energy efficient processors can also help extend the longevity of PCs, while offering consumer and business users a quiet, more pleasant experience in their offices or living rooms."
The company hopes a universal standard for smaller motherboards will get manufacturers interested in producing the different components for the machines.
"This works to the benefit of everybody," said Sobon.
Earlier this week AMD launched Better by Design, a platform brand designed to compete with Intel's Centrino brand.