UEFI: From Reset Vector to Operating System

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Abstract

In PCs, the firmware that sits at the reset vector is called a BIOS. The BIOS has increased in size, complexity, and extensions apace with the complexity and richness of PCs. The increases have finally reached the point that no amount of patching will fix the old architecture. The new architecture, known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) [UEFc,ZRH] and Platform Initialization (PI) [UEFb] keep the learning’s of the last years but impose a modern software engineering structure that supports the basic requirements of system initialization, configuration, and abstraction of boot devices, but which is also designed to be extensible enough to address the new features of hardware to come.