PC BIOS soon to be replaced by UEFI

Oct 02, 2010 by John Messina weblog
UEFI is an interface that takes care of handing over the pre-boot environment to the operating system.

(PhysOrg.com) -- The 25 year old PC BIOS will soon be replaced by UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface) that will enable PC's to boot up in a matter of seconds. In 2011 we will start seeing UEFI dominate new PC's, according to BBC News.

UEFI is designed to be much more flexible than the old PC BIOS that dates back to some of the first IBM PC’s since 1979. The BIOS has not changed much in the past 25 years and is one of the main reasons why a PC’s boot-up time is over 25 seconds.

The original EFI specification was developed by but has now evolved into a standard which is now known as UEFI. The UEFI forum, which is a non-profit corporation, is responsible for the management and promotion of the specification. Their goal is to replace the 25 year old BIOS that’s responsible for slow boot-ups.

Mark Doran, head of the UEFI Forum, is quoted as saying: "With UEFI we're getting it under a handful of seconds. In terms of boot speed, we're not at instant-on yet but it is already a lot better than conventional BIOS can manage, and we're getting closer to that every day."

Some PC manufactures have already started using UEFI and system administrators who oversee thousands of PC and servers have already seen the benefits of swapping old-fashioned Bios for UEFI.

Explore further: Tecnalia designs an app to help elderly people get around on public transport

More information: UEFI
Via: BBC News

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User comments : 26

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MediaWest
4.7 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2010
yes!!!!! i have thought of this since 85!
axemaster
5 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2010
Finally! I was wondering why BIOS was still used...
Detr
5 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2010
The UEFI BIOSes have been out for a while and can cause the following issues: no power, no video, hangs, powers off automatically, USB, PCIe, battery charging. You gain speed but the old BIOS system had a much lower rate of failure than the EUFI.
EvgenijM
4.5 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2010
In my case Kubuntu Linux boots up in like 15s-20s and I usually do 1 boot per day (and sometimes - per several days). Perhaps it will help mobile devices, but for desktop PC - I don't see much benefit unless it is more reliable\stable, or offers something unique (like booting from a device in PCI-E slot).
dtxx
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2010
When it can boot up fast enough to beat the switch's portfast negotiation I will be impressed.
Nik_2213
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
Uh, the Acorn Archimedes (BIOS & BASIC in ROM) powered up faster than the attached monitor...
angelhkrillin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2010
I can't wait to get this...it will be sooo awesome..
Mayday
2.2 / 5 (6) Oct 02, 2010
Except for exceptional high-computational uses, the future of the desktop-strapped computer is very short-lived. Every morning, I boot up my laptop and have quickly learned that between the passwords and security checks I can easily get a tea and check all my email on my iPad.

The instant-on functionality of the tablet devices will wash away the non-high computational machines in a few years.
Bob_Kob
4 / 5 (12) Oct 02, 2010
Yeah i'd like to see you run crysis on your ipad or use AutoCAD. Tablets serve their own purpose separate from desktop computers.
dtxx
1.8 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2010
Fat clients are wasteful in many cases, but at this point thin clients can't meet the users' needs in many situations. Plus, let's say I start using ClearCube thin clients. If I start to hate them later I am tethered to their products. With desktops there are a hundred different places I could get them if a particular brand sours me.
plasticpower
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 03, 2010
Ok, before you call me a Mac fanboi, let me explain that I come from a HARDCORE windows-only usage mentality. I bought a Mac several years ago to do some iPhone programming to see if I can make some extra cash on the side. Since then, I gradually used my Mac more and more. I don't claim it's the best operating system or whatever, and this thing takes a good minute to do a cold boot. BUT, I never have to do a cold boot because I might need to restart it only once every two months, and I do programming on it, so believe me a windows box would quickly give up with the kind of use this thing is seeing. I close the lid when I'm done and it goes to standby. When I open the lid, the screen is already on with all my software up just how I left it. If that's not "instant boot" for most users, I don't know what is. Good software needs to be booted ONCE and almost never re-booted, IMO.
Ravenrant
3.3 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2010
Yeah i'd like to see you run crysis on your ipad or use AutoCAD. Tablets serve their own purpose separate from desktop computers.


A few years ago you would have said that about laptops.
John_Doe
1 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2010
...When I open the lid, the screen is already on with all my software up just how I left it. ...Good software needs to be booted ONCE and almost never re-booted, IMO.

Same here. I think PC+Windows is GARBAGE compare to MAC. It is SO slow, requires SO MUCH protection software. I've been a software developer for over 15 years (mostly for PC and Unix), and an ipad/iphone/ipod developer for less than 2 year. Let me tell you, I hate my PC now. I do everything on mac/ipad/ipod now. I just open the lid of my laptop / or press the button on the ipad and I am ready! When I got the mac one of the first things I did was to look for the defrag too, then I learned the OS was so nicely designed SINCE DAY ONE that there is no need for one. I don't need an anti-virus killing the performance, cleanup software, etc. either.

Why are they finally trying to do something serious about boot time now? Because of the competition from Apple and the copycats in the near future (Android, RIM, etc.)
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2010
When it can boot up fast enough to beat the switch's portfast negotiation I will be impressed.

That's like asking someone to read an entire magazine in the time it takes someone else to say "Hello".
Newbeak
not rated yet Oct 03, 2010
I'm not an expert,but don't laptops with flash memory instead of hard-drives boot up instantly?
Bob_B
3.5 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2010
It's funny reading the Apple fans trying to justify the $$$ it cots them to own their devices and there are so many missing software titles it becomes a noop for real world uses. Sure, go to elementary school and use an Apple. Go to the real world and Apple is a money vacuum cleaner.
boznz
not rated yet Oct 03, 2010
Hardware guys prefer pedal to the metal programming, ie no OS to get in the way, however most use an embedded OS such as Linux, Windows or Even DOS as drivers are generally already available. UEFI provides a very clean API to the hardware which wasnt there before and should allow development of faster, cleaner systems without an OS.
frajo
not rated yet Oct 03, 2010
It's funny reading the Apple fans trying to justify the $$$ it cots them to own their devices and there are so many missing software titles it becomes a noop for real world uses.
Depends on what you want/need to be done with your hardware. Missing is only what you need but don't have.
mjesfahani
1 / 5 (2) Oct 04, 2010
Wov, it's amazing!
Eikka
4.5 / 5 (2) Oct 04, 2010
Apple fanboys forget that Windows can be set for the same "open lid" behaviour as OSX, if you turn off the security features like the login screen. No security, no wait.

It's just a dumb idea to do so. Like going to the supermarket and leaving your car doors open because you can't be bothered to press the "unlock" button on your keys when you come back.
Osmosium
4 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2010
I love articles that ignore history. Which is pretty all of them since they are from myopically-situated intellects. Fact is, this has been going on for decades now. Intel's version was supposed be launched many years ago. But of course, OS's must follow suit. So unless Microsoft is completely on board and actually releases an OS they say works 100% with the new BIOS, it wont be successfull, just another pipe dream done by software engineers who dont have a clue.
Megadeth312
1 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2010
UEFI is currently supported by Vista and Windows 7 (and Server 2008) and is required for booting GPT formatted volumes, such as those larger than 2.2 TB.
sfoulk526
not rated yet Oct 04, 2010
The BIOS is the slowdown? Have they tried putting a nice Intel SSD inside to boot from? How can they bypass the BIOS? Please fill me in on that. I did BIOS programming years ago. You can't leave out the hardware servicing, you can only change the hardware.
Megadeth312
5 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2010
UEFI is a replacement for BIOS which takes advantage of more advanced hardware addressing.

Yes, BIOS is why your system takes so long to boot. Storage media is irrelevant (i.e. the SSD)
SonOfBo
not rated yet Oct 09, 2010
I am confused. I thought that this would only speed up the hardware boot from the time of power-on until the OS kicks in. On my machines Windows takes forever to load down after the hardware boot sequences are finished.

I do not understand why this process should take anywhere near as long as it does on multiprocessor hardware with several Gigs of RAM.
scenage
not rated yet Oct 10, 2010
A lot of software was not built to use multiple processes. That goes for other things too. BIOS was designed before the use of multiple processors.