October 02, 2010

After 31 Years Goodbye to BIOS and Hello to Faster Booting Computers in 2011 with UEFI

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The age of the Bios was starting to hamper development as 64-bit computing became more common and machines mutated beyond basic desktops and laptops.

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) frees any computer from being based around the blueprint and specifications of the original PCs. For instance, it does not specify that a keyboard will only connect via a specific port. UEFI should be in most computers in 2011. BIOS tends to take a long time to recognise hardware peripherals on modern computers, effectively operating in the same way it did with older machines

"At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on," he said. "With UEFI we're getting it under a handful of seconds."

Hardware such as SSDs (solid state drives), MRAM, or hybrid hard disks have often been unsuccessful or overly expensive options to achieve instant on PCs. A faster BIOS is a very cheap alternative and could cut boot times drastically if UEFI's interface is employed in next year's PCs. Instant on Linux Versions

Hyperspace Linux is an instant on Linux that was purchased by HP

Chrome OS is instant on and so are MontaVista Linux which is used by Dell and DeviceVM has SplashTop

Instant On systems are listed in the wikipedia entry

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