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Platform firmware interface gains interoperability spec

Apr 6, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The industry group that maintains the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) has updated the spec to v2.1, and released a new “Platform Initialization (PI) v1.0” speciation. The UEFI Forum said its PI document addresses interoperability issues among UEFI-compliant firmware components provided by different companies and organizations.

The UEFI specification defines a new model for the interface between operating systems and platform firmware. It consists of data tables with platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. “Together, these provide a modern, well defined environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications,” according to the UEFI Forum.

UEFI was derived from the Intel-created “EFI” (Extensible Firmware Interface) standard, which in 2005 was renamed to “Unified EFI” and placed under the jurisdiction the UEFI Forum. The EFI was famously criticized by Linux creator Linus Torvalds as, “this other Intel brain-damage (the first one being ACPI).” An alternative view of EFI may be available from the Intel-contributed whitepapers listed among the first three “related stories” below.

“The UEFI specification and drive to achieve interoperability offer a tremendous example of industry collaboration, where diverse companies come together for the benefit of the end customers,” said Tony Pierce, President of the Unified EFI Forum, Inc. and Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation. “Microsoft is in full support of the industry shift from legacy firmware to UEFI and we encourage platform developers to continue the development and delivery of UEFI capable systems.”

The UEFI Test Working Group (UTWG) is just coming off its third successful interoperability plugfest at Microsoft's Windows Server Longhorn plugfest held in Redmond on April 2-5. The next plugfest, to be held in Nanjing, China, is scheduled for June 12-15, 2007.

In related news, the UEFI Forum formed a new working group: the Industry Communications Working Group (ICWG). The group's mission is to “help build awareness and encourage industry adoption of the UEFI standards through a variety of educational and promotional efforts.”

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