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This article describes (at a high-level) what UEFI is and provides links to other Phoenix developer UEFI information.

Phoenix Developer Information About UEFI
Official UEFI Web Site


What Is UEFI?

From [www.uefi.org]:

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification defines a new model for the interface between operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard, modern environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications.

How is UEFI related to EFI?

UEFI is the successor to EFI. Intel contributed EFI 1.10 (the final version of EFI) as the starting point for UEFI specifications. Enhancements are managed by the UEFI Forum. Intel retains copyright to the EFI 1.10 specification.

How does UEFI relate to BIOS?

UEFI works to standardize two primary functions of the PC Basic Input/Output System (BIOS): firmware-to-OS interface and platform initialization.The UEFI Specification Working Group (USWG) creates the UEFI specification, describing a firmware-to-OS interface analogous to BIOS software interrupts and the BIOS data area (BDA).The Platform Initialization Working Group (PIWG) specifications are intended to promote interoperability between firmware components provided by different entities, such as silicon vendors and firmware vendors.

What does UEFI change about BIOS?

The BIOS used by PC/AT compatible systems is based on the x86, 16-bit, real-mode architecture. UEFI is not specific to any processor architecture, so it can perform the same function as BIOS while evolving with new technologies. The current UEFI specification allows operating systems to boot using modern modes and calling conventions.

The UEFI Forum

The Unified EFI Forum is a collaborative, non-profit corporation formed to promote and manage the UEFI specifications. The establishment and evolution of UEFI is being driven by contributions and support from member companies. Interested parties are invited to join.

What does the UEFI Forum produce?

  • UEFI Specifications
  • Platform Initialization (PI) Specifications
  • Self Certification Tests (SCT)

Copyright (C) 2008 Phoenix Technologies Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Portions copyright (C) 2008 UEFI Forum, Inc. Used with permission.

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