Monday, October 4, 2010

New computers will ‘boot up in seconds’

The next generation of home computers will be able to boot up in just a few seconds, as 25-year-old BIOS technology makes way for new start-up software known as UEFI.

BIOS technology, which has been used to boot up computers since 1979, was never designed to last as long as it has, and is one of the reasons modern computers take so long to get up and running.

By contrast, UEFI – which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface – has been built to meet modern computing needs, and will soon be the pre-eminent technology in many new computers, enabling them to go from ‘off’ to ‘on’ in seconds.

“At the moment, it can be 25- to 30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on,” Mark Doran, head of the UEFI Forum, told the BBC. “With UEFI, we’re getting it down to a handful of seconds.

“It’s not quite instant-on, but it is already a lot better than conventional BIOS can manage.” ... Experts expect UEFI to start gaining a significant foothold in the computing market from as early as next year.

via New computers will ‘boot up in seconds’ - Telegraph.

More from the UEFI FAQ:

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) served as the OS-firmware interface for the original PC-XT and PC-AT computers. This interface has been expanded over the years as the "PC clone" market has grown, but was never fully modernized as the market grew. UEFI defines a similar OS-firmware interface, known as "boot services" and "runtime services", but is not specific to any processor architecture. BIOS is specific to the Intel x86 processor architecture, as it relies on the 16-bit "real mode" interface supported by x86 processors.

Does UEFI completely replace a PC BIOS?
No. While UEFI uses a different interface for "boot services" and "runtime services", some platform firmware must perform the functions BIOS uses for system configuration (a.k.a. "Power On Self Test" or "POST") and Setup. UEFI does not specify how POST & Setup are implemented.

How is UEFI implemented on a computer system?
UEFI is an interface. It can be implemented on top of a traditional BIOS (in which case it supplants the traditional "INT" entry points into BIOS) or on top of non-BIOS implementations.

1 comment:

Intrachresodist said...

Intel-based Macs use this (or something similar) already.