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EXTENSIBLE FIRMWARE INTERFACE


Published on Nov 06, 2015

Abstract

After several up-gradations, BIOS is now most resistant to change. Mike Richmond of Intel's software and solution group said, "There is a certain life span for every technology. You can expand it and grow it, but at some point you have to start over".

Moreover he said, "We have been through four operating system generations and multiple bus generations, but we're still on the first version of BIOS. It's become a barrier to innovation in the industry". This make them think about the idea about EFI technology.

In a technical way EFI can be said as an abrevation of the extension to the firmware that boots 64-bit PC's, ie for 64 bit OS implementations and platforms which is a feature of it that make it more advanced.

But it is not widely accepted in the marketing field, at present, even with a lot of salient features. Due to this, a PC with the EFI implementation, which has already been shipped- Gateway PC- in 2003 is not widely used, it is only working in some enterprises.

EFI is steadily gathering momentum and is definitely a technology to watch. Microsoft says that they will support EFI pre-boot system in their OS Longhorn, which is going to be launched in 2006. Intel also says that they will introduce EFI and EFI based platforms in their future chipsets, so even EFI may take several years to get up, its future will be fascinating in this growing technological world.

BIOS INTERFACE

The BIOS (Basic input-output system) is built in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PC's the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drivers and a number of miscellaneous functions. We can say BIOS as an interface, that introduce operating system to the PC's hardware. BIOS is responsible for initialization of the system referred to as power-on-self-test (POST).

Location :

BIOS, is a small set of fixed software routines normally built on a chip called ROM chip on the motherboard. This ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures, as ROM memory is non-volatile.

Booting Phase And Security :

BIOS, operates in the "pre-boot environment", which is the first few seconds after a PC is turned on, and before the operating system loads. As BIOS is stored in ROM, also makes possible for a computer to boot itself. Because RAM (volatile) is faster than ROM, though many computer manufactures design systems so that the BIOS is copied from ROM to RAM each time computer is booted. This is known as shadowing.

Display On The Screen :

BIOS can be probably seen on every PC when powered on and on pressing down [Del] or [F1]. On doing press, there it is the blue screen with all those exciting tweaking options. It is the place where the user can interact with the hardware parts.

BIOS Journey Till Now !!

For more than twenty years, the PC has relied on the BIOS interface. Today we can see, BIOS is one of the oldest elements of a PC and one of the most resistant to change. Why it's so? - While the BIOS were once relatively straight forward in its design, over the years it has morphed into a figurative bowl of spaghetti as it's been changed and updated to accept new technologies. We have been through four OS generations and multiple bus generations, but still on the first version of BIOS. It may cause as a barrier to change in the industry to new ideas and technologies. We can come to the point that BIOS up-gradation has reached its limit.

Intel and Microsoft says its time to ditch the outmoded BIOS, which for 23 years has served to start a PC's hardware before the operating system takes over. In a sense, we can say that the replacement of BIOS by their newly developed EFI technology may even cause the death of BIOS.














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