American Megatrends | III | An Introduction to UEFI

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An overview of Unified EFI (UEFI) and
how it applies to BIOS products
Updated 2011-02-10
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BIOS offers the compatibility between
the hardware & operating system that
makes the x86 platform today’s most
flexible computing architecture.
Pre-boot
Value Add
Maximum
OS-to-BIOS
Compatibility
Platform
Initialization
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UEFI brings modern
software methods and Cbased programming to
the BIOS world using
industry standards.
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Unified Extensible Firmware
Interface (UEFI)
OS
Loader
• OS-to-Firmware interface
specification
• Abstracts platform from OS
• Includes modular driver model
• Compatible by design
• Modular and extensible
• Complements existing
firmware & OS interfaces
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UEFI
Platform
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Industry Standard
Backed by over
150 member
companies
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C Language
Development
Architecture
Independent
OS & CPU
independent with
modern interfaces
No 16-bit … built
for today’s 32/64bit systems
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Drive Size Limitations
Networking
UEFI removes 2.2TB
MBR partition limits
using GPT
UEFI specification
supports IPv4 and
IPv6 networking …
without the OS
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Pre-Boot
Applications
GUI or text tools for
provisioning, recovery
and diagnostics …
without the OS
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• Master boot record (MBR) scheme uses 32-bit values
– Limit is a maximum disk partition of 2.2TB
– It’s not just a BIOS limit … OS uses the same MBR data
• New devices have massive storage needs
– Photography, HD Video, Surveillance, Servers, …
• The UEFI solution: GUID Partition Table (GPT)
• GPT disks use 64-bit values to describe partitions, handling
disk sizes up to 9.4 zettabytes
• GPT is already supported by Linux & Microsoft Windows 7
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• Older OS still require “legacy BIOS” (16-bit) interfaces
• Aptio uses the Compatibility Support Module (CSM)
– All 16-bit BIOS compatibility is handled by the CSM
– The CSM is included by default in Aptio UEFI projects
• UEFI & legacy BIOS support in the same firmware …
maximum platform flexibility
• CSM does not require changes between platforms …
easy to implement
• CSM is modular and can be removed if it is not required …
flexible solution
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• The UEFI Forum defines four
platform types (“class”)
based on CSM presence
• This helps identify platform
compatibility with UEFI and
legacy BIOS interfaces …
• Today’s Aptio systems ship
as UEFI Class 2
• Remove CSM -> UEFI Class 3
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Class 0:
Legacy BIOS
Class 1: UEFI
with CSM
only
Class 2: Both
UEFI and
CSM
Class 3:
UEFI Only
(no CSM)
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Aptio
AMI Provisioning
AMIDiag for UEFI
UEFI Solution for
any x86 BIOS
application
GUI pre-boot
apps, based on
UEFI
Pre-boot
diagnostics for test
and burn-in
without an OS
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• AMI created Aptio to
address OEM & ODM
issues with BIOS & UEFI
• Aptio advantages…
Tools
– Tools for BIOS & UEFI
– Drop-in BIOS features
based on AMI eModules
– Direct support model
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Features
Support
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• A complete BIOS solution
• Visual eBIOS (VeB) for rapid
BIOS/UEFI porting
• AMIDebug Rx enables USB
based debugging at every
phase … from development
to deployment
• Full suite of BIOS ROM
modification tools and
factory deployment utilities
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• AMI invented the eModule in 2001
• eModules provide drop-in BIOS &
UEFI features at the source level
• Examples …
– Graphical setup client for a custom BIOS
setup experience
– Fast Boot provides faster boot time
without any BIOS porting
– Aptio Secure Firmware Update (ASFU)
prevents runtime firmware attacks for
additional BIOS security
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OEM
BOARD
SILICON
CORE
INDUSTRY
STANDARDS
AMI
VALUE-ADD
FEATURES
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• AMI Provisioning
–
–
–
–
Rescue, update & diagnose
Graphical interface in UEFI
Works better than a recovery DVD
Runs even when the OS has failed
• AMIDiag for UEFI
– Platform testing without an OS
– Embed diag in BIOS or run on disk
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• AMI helps customers manage BIOS & UEFI
development by delivering a full solution
–
–
–
–
–
Providing tools that reduce the complexity of UEFI
Development Tools & Modular Source Code
Debugging and Diagnostic Tools
Utilities for BIOS ROM File Maintenance
Utilities for the Manufacturing Environment
• For developers working with AMI, more extensive
training is offered for BIOS & UEFI
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•
•
•
•
•
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The Unified EFI Forum – www.uefi.org
The UEFI Primer @ uefi.org
Learning Center @ uefi.org
Aptio information @ www.ami.com
AMIDiag for UEFI information @ www.ami.com
AMI Provisioning information @ www.ami.com
“Ask a BIOS Guy” on Twitter @askabiosguy
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