Intel EFI

Eric W. Biederman ebiederman at
Sat Sep 18 02:15:01 CEST 2004

Trellix78 at writes:

> I wanted to bring to attention Intel's Platform Innovation Framework for  
> Extensible Firmware Interface since its goals overlap with those LinuxBIOS a  
> little bit.  After reading the article at 
> _
> ( ,
> I had some 
> questions about the ability of LinuxBIOS to support next-generation  
> hardware.  It looks like Intel wants to change the whole firmware landscape with
> EFI.  If such a framework will be truly open and support legacy systems, it'll
> make LinuxBIOS redundant, wouldn't  it?  

Huge IF. 

But even then open source can usually find a niche.

> What about newer architectures like those built around the Itanium?   

EFI has a place there.  So far Itanium is a niche market.  It is not
the x86 successor. 

> Will LinuxBIOS be able to scale up as well as EFI?  

Has EFI scaled up to x86-64 yet?  32bit interfaces on 64bit hardware look weird.

With LinuxBIOS we support a much narrower interface so it is much
easier to write. There is more work for the OS todo.  But the OS is
the hardware abstraction layer not the BIOS. 

As for running on large hardware that really is not too hard.  An OS needs
to be able to do things efficiently, which makes scaling hard.  After
you go SMP I don't see the difficulty.  

> Those are questions that I wanted  to  throw out there.

So far all I have seen with EFI is a time sink.

Commercial things either need everyone to accept them or they tend to die.

Open source can get by with a small but growing niche, and be accepted
based on the technical merits of the project at hand.

If EFI is a huge success we might have an EFI compatibility layer.


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