Thursday, January 23rd 2020

Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

Back at CES, at the FSP booth, we spied an inconspicuous-looking PSU with a curious 10-pin connector in place of the 24-pin ATX. The FSP500-30AKB turned out to be the first public exhibit of a the pure 12-Volt PC power supply standard being pushed by Intel, which is called "ATX12VO," which abbreviates Advanced Technology eXtended 12-Volt Only. According to the specification, the PSU only puts out +12 V and 12 Vsb voltage domains, and does away with the 5 V, 5 Vsb, and 3.3 V domains. This greatly simplifies the design of PSUs, as PCs of today don't use too many power-hungry 5 V or 3.3 V devices (such as half-a-dozen mechanical hard drives). The PC will still need 5 V for interfaces such as USB, but VRM on the motherboard will be responsible for DC-to-DC switching of 12 V to those lower-voltage domains. It's also likely that the motherboard will now put out a handful SATA power connectors.

Intel could debut ATX12VO within 2020 via its next-generation desktop platform, which features a 10-pin connector instead of 24-pin. It remains to be seen if the company could help the transition from current PSUs to the new standard by having its motherboard partners include a 24-pin to 10-pin adapter of some sort. In addition to the 10-pin connector, ATX12VO PSUs will put out two other purely-12 V connector types: 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS and 6+2 pin PCIe power. The EPS connector powers the CPU VRM, while the PCIe connector powers add-on cards, such as graphics cards. 4-pin Molex connectors could also be put out, but those will only feature 12 V pins (the 5 V pins will be absent).
Source: CustomPC
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102 Comments on Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

#1
IceShroom
Still only 2 12V line just like the current specs?? Then why bother to change it.:mad:
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#2
sutyi
Whats the point of this from a non OEM point of view?
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#3
laszlo
following the logic if current one is a 24 pin connector this new one is a 10 pin connector not 5 ...
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#4
agent_x007
So... they plan to power old devices that use 3,3V and 5V from motherboard directly when cross-compatible devices are a thing ?

Also, what about 5VSTB ?
Does it change to 12VSTB ?

Making simpler PSUs = making more complicated MBs.
This probably MAY work in OEM, but that would forced them to make seperate PSUs for Intel and Ryzen platforms, which isn't cost effective.
This idea is dead before even arriving at this point.
Posted on Reply
#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
agent_x007
So... they plan to power old devices that use 3,3V and 5V from motherboard directly when cross-compatible devices are a thing ?

Also, what about 5VSTB ?
Does it change to 12VSTB ?

Making simpler PSUs = making more complicated MBs.
This probably MAY work in OEM, but that would forced them to make seperate CPUs for Intel and Ryzen platforms, which isn't cost effective.
This idea is dead before even arriving at this point.
TBH, ATX12VO isn't much different as a concept from SFF motherboards that have 2-pin DC jacks that run to external power-bricks.
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#6
JalleR
funny the other day i was looking at a 750Watt Server PSU and thinking wow that is small for its output. and it was only 12V :) sooo we could get psu's that are a lot smaller
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#7
hojnikb
sutyi
Whats the point of this from a non OEM point of view?
Reducing footprint and complexity of a PSU? It's actually great and a long overdue option for PCs.
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#8
londiste
hojnikb
Reducing footprint and complexity of a PSU? It's actually great and a long overdue option for PCs.
Also, 10-pin connector instead of the current 24-pin? Yes, please :)
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#9
TheLostSwede
I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner tbh. With storage moving towards M.2, even things like SATA and Molex connectors aren't going to be widely used, apart from when people are using their PC's and keep done older parts.
It's also quite efficient to convert 12V DC to lower DC Voltages, especially compared to going from AC to DC. I've done some power conversion boards for a client and they were quite cheap to make and used very few components, yet can support quite high loads without producing much heat.
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#10
bobsled
Sounds like a terrible idea. No thanks. I'd rather have a power supply doing the conversion as its sole job, because I trust the PSU manufacturer to not cut corners (as many mobo manufacturers do) and stand by their products with 7 year warranties.

10 pin vs 24 pin? Big whoop.
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#11
Mussels
Moderprator
I can see this working out if the new mobos can be made to work with older PSU's via an adaptor, and the new PSU's can work in a modern case (i'm hoping they do ATX, but make them shorter)
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#12
TheLostSwede
bobsled
Sounds like a terrible idea. No thanks. I'd rather have a power supply doing the conversion as its sole job, because I trust the PSU manufacturer to not cut corners (as many mobo manufacturers do) and stand by their products with 7 year warranties.

10 pin vs 24 pin? Big whoop.
I guess you don't understand much about how power conversion works then.
The 5V and 3.3V conversion is done on a separate level inside the PSU these days, from the 12V rail. So doing it that inside the PSU, has no real advantage to doing it on the motherboard. Also, no real corners to be cut and as the motherboard already does a lot of other power conversion, such as 12V to 1.8V, this wouldn't be a breeze to do with pretty much the same components.
It would also either leave more room inside the PSU for better cooling, or allow for more compact PSUs. Also keep in mind that there will be 14 wires less in the cable, which makes for a much more flexible cable that is easier to route inside the case.
As an example, these are the 12V to 5V and 3.3V conversion boards in CM PSU review here. They help block airflow inside the PSU and take up a fair amount of space, yet contain comparatively few components. I should mention that CM actually does a quite good job in terms of the power conversion design here, compared to some cheaper PSUs which has a lot more components, as they use more analogue ways of converting the power.


https://www.techpowerup.com/review/cooler-master-v-series-750-w-gold/
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#13
Valantar
About time. This is such a massive improvement it really should have happened a while ago. Smaller PSUs? Check. Higher efficiency? Check. Fewer cables to route? Check. Fewer cable losses from not running low voltage lines from the PSU? Check. Increased design flexibility? Check.

Converters to ensure backwards compatibility would be trivial to make (plug-in DC-DC PSUs already exist, all that would need to change is using the 12VSB for 5VSB), as would converters for forward compatibility as ATX PSUs have all the relevant voltages.
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#14
londiste
Pretty sure that in case motherboard manufacturers fail to do power conversion job well there will be small power conversion boxes developed to take care of that problem :P
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#15
Gungar
Valantar
About time. This is such a massive improvement it really should have happened a while ago. Smaller PSUs? Check. Higher efficiency? Check. Fewer cables to route? Check. Fewer cable losses from not running low voltage lines from the PSU? Check. Increased design flexibility? Check.

Converters to ensure backwards compatibility would be trivial to make (plug-in DC-DC PSUs already exist, all that would need to change is using the 12VSB for 5VSB), as would converters for forward compatibility as ATX PSUs have all the relevant voltages.
Higher efficiency? xD you know that you just moved the problem on the motherboard right? you gain efficiency on the psu and you lose on the motherboard there is 0 changes to efficiency xD
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#16
TheLostSwede
londiste
Pretty sure that in case motherboard manufacturers fail to do power conversion job well there will be small power conversion boxes developed to take care of that problem :p
How many would you like to order? :p

Gungar
Higher efficiency? xD you know that you just moved the problem on the motherboard right? you gain efficiency on the psu and you lose on the motherboard there is 0 changes to efficiency xD
That's not true though. The PSU is doing 5V and 3.3V conversion regardless, as it can't predict what's connected. On a motherboard, you could design it so that the 5V and 3.3V conversion only happens if something is connected, alternatively have a UEFI setting where you can disable it if you're not using it.
Not that this is going to add a huge efficiency improvement though, since as pointed out above, 5V and 3.3V is generally done from the 12V line these days and is at least 90% efficient if done properly.
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#17
Ferrum Master
londiste
Pretty sure that in case motherboard manufacturers fail to do power conversion job well there will be small power conversion boxes developed to take care of that problem :p
On ideal each device has the PMIC already and accepts wide range of voltages. Or vice versa it must have an additional step down converter to gain lower noise or has to be on separate rail. Each device part, like USB, NIC etc will have the ability to really disable their part on HW level thus increase power efficiency.

Even USB power delivery has a wide voltage range and needs to be driven by a controller from higher voltage...

The question lies with the 3.3V line and PCIe what devices even use it. AFAIK low current for init process, then it feeds only from 12V.
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#18
Tsukiyomi91
as the saying goes; if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Intel is getting desperate...
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#19
Chrispy_
This is a good thing, IMO.

Optical storage is dead for most people.
Mechanical storage is dead for most people.
Molex 4-pin connectors are dead and should have been stamped into the dirt 15 years ago because they're awful.
Modular PSUs are so popular because it allows people to omit 3.3V and 5V cables altogether.

We are not quite there yet, but M.2 is already at price parity with 2.5" storage and should, in theory be cheaper to make. The only hurdle is that some consumers want more drives than motherboards provide M.2 slots for, but we're already seeing plenty of PCI-e cards with 2, 3, and 4 M.2 connectors on the market to serve this niche.
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#20
windwhirl
Welp, better learn how to make my own home-made PSUs, then... I'm not planning on discarding my mecha drives anytime soon, if anything, I plan to add more. Ignore this outburst of sillyness.
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#21
Imsochobo
Tsukiyomi91
as the saying goes; if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Intel is getting desperate...
To this I just say.. idiot, this is something we should have done 10 years ago.
Cause it's broken, we have no use for it.
it's in the way, it increases cost etc.
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#22
ppn
Why the 10 pin, just make it 4 pin for the power and standby voltage, all other 8 pin and 6+2.
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#23
TheLostSwede
windwhirl
Welp, better learn how to make my own home-made PSUs, then... I'm not planning on discarding my mecha drives anytime soon, if anything, I plan to add more.
This is hardly going to make mechanical drives defunct. However, it might lead to us seeing proper backplanes in more cases, which is how SATA should've been designed to work from the beginning anyhow. The wired SATA power cable is simply horrible imho.
Also, as pointed out, it's really easy to make simple step-down converters from 12V to 5V. 3.3V isn't used on 3.5" drives.
2.5" drives are the issue here if anything, as they rely on 5V and 3.3V.
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#24
laszlo
ppn
Why the 10 pin, just make it 4 pin for the power and standby voltage, all other 8 pin and 6+2.
to not overload the mobo entry point as i assume ;each 12 v rails most likely provide power for different part of mobo on separate circuits
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#25
Chrispy_
windwhirl
Welp, better learn how to make my own home-made PSUs, then... I'm not planning on discarding my mecha drives anytime soon, if anything, I plan to add more.
/Facepalm.

Read the article. This isn't abandoning support for mechanical drives. It's simply changing the location of the 12V-to-5V conversion circuitry. If you buy a new 10-pin PSU and board with SATA ports, it will still have a way to power your SATA drives.

The new PSU standard provides the option of dropping 5V and 3.3V support to board manufacturers, whilst everyone can benefit from smaller, simpler, cheaper, better power supplies. It is 100% advantageous to everyone and has no downsides.

TheLostSwede
This is hardly going to make mechanical drives defunct. However, it might lead to us seeing proper backplanes in more cases, which is how SATA should've been designed to work from the beginning anyhow. The wired SATA power cable is simply horrible imho.
Also, as pointed out, it's really easy to make simple step-down converters from 12V to 5V. Also, most, if not all 3.5" drives, use 12V, not 5V.
Not to mention that portable mechanical drives powered solely by USB cables have outsold internal SATA-cable drives something like 10:1 for the last few years. USB drives are the overwhelming majority of mechanical drives bought by consumers and internal SATA cable drives are rapidly becoming a niche product. You can already buy dirt-cheap USB to SATA power cables on eBay, Amazon, AliExpress etc.
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