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Simple depiction of the workings of Extensible Firmware Interface
Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is the name for a system developed by Intel that is designed to replace the aging BIOS system used by personal computers. It is responsible for the power-on self-test (POST) process, bootstrapping the operating system, and providing an interface between the operating system and the physical hardware.

Implementation and adoption

In November 2003, Gateway introduced the Gateway 610 Media Centre, the first consumer-oriented computer system to use EFI. The 610 used Insyde Software|Insyde Software's InsydeH2O EFI firmware.

Linux systems have been able to use EFI at boot time since early 2000, using the elilo EFI boot loader.

Intel currently offers PC motherboards supporting EFI. All boards that use the Intel 945 chipset support EFI, although it is, currently, disabled. A firmware update could enable EFI on these motherboards, although no such updated has been released at the time of this writing (probably due to there being no EFI-supporting version of Microsoft Windows)

In January 2006, Apple Computer shipped their first Intel-based Macintosh computers with EFI instead of Open Firmware, which had been used on their previous PowerPC-based systems. Apple Computer. "Universal Binary Programming Guidelines, Second Edition: Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)."

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Itanium and Windows XP 64-bit Edition support EFI.Microsoft Windows Server TechCenter. "Extensible Firmware Interface."

In March 2006, Microsoft revealed that it will not support EFI booting for Windows Vista on its launch, and will never support EFI booting on 32 bit CPUs. EFI support won't be seen in any version of Windows until the release of Windows Server "Longhorn".Microsoft bombshell: no EFI support for Vista



External links

See also