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Package enables roll-your-own x86 boot firmware

Apr 5, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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A new SDK (software development kit) from Insyde Software helps developers roll their own EFI/UEFI initialization and boot routines for systems based on embedded Intel Architecture processors. “InsydeDIY” provides a “lightweight and easy-to-implement” set of source and binary firmware components for applications that do not require a complete BIOS implementation, according to the company.

EFI/UEFI

Intel, the creator of the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) specification, describes EFI as “a new model for the interface between operating systems and platform firmware [which] 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 environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications.”

The EFI spec was renamed to “Unified EFI” (UEFI) in 2005, and is now under the control of an industry group dubbed the UEFI Forum. Some interesting background on EFI is available from the following articles:

InsydeDIY

The benefits of using the pre-packaged firmware components of InsydeDIY are multiple, according to the Insyde, include:

  • Reduced project development time
  • Compatibility with the industry's latest EFI methods of booting an operating system
  • Improved boot speed
  • A robust environment for running and managing pre-boot applications, and
  • Seamless transition path to the company's previous product, the InsydeH2O, a complete production-ready EFI/UEFI framework

It also contains a built-in software debugger, along support for networking devices and USB mass storage.

According to Insyde executive VP Jonathan Joseph, Insyde's firmware products are “well aligned with Intel's Embedded and Communication Processor plans.” However, the company has bigger plans for the future: to deliver “a complete suite of InsydeDIY products that extend across the entire embedded silicon roadmap,” he adds.

Doug David, VP of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group and general manager of the Embedded Communications Group, stated, “As an Intel Communications Alliance Affiliate Member providing innovative firmware solutions, Insyde Software is an important part of our embedded ecosystem.”

Availability

InsydeDIY is expected to ship in Q2 of 2007. It requires a one-time license per CPU/chipset platform, with no subsequent royalties.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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