Intel Invites Industry In Design Of Technology
Intel Invites Industry In Design Of Technology To Succeed Bios Industry Collaboration Key in Addressing Oldest Software Technology in PC Platforms
Intel Corporation announced it is working with CollabNet to release Foundation code of Intel's next-generation firmware technology under the Common Public License (CPL) later this year.
More than 20 years old, the BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) is the oldest software technology in PC platforms. It operates in the "pre-boot environment," which is the first few seconds after a PC is turned on, and before the operating system loads.
Intel's firmware Foundation code, a result of the project codenamed, "Tiano," provides that the successor to the BIOS will be based on up-to-date software technology. It is designed to be extended with new features and services, such as improved platform manageability, serviceability and administrative interfaces which are too complex to implement in the old BIOS environment.
Complete next-generation firmware products based on this technology are available from participating BIOS vendors American Megatrends Inc. and Insyde Software Corp.
"Because pre-boot firmware is a vital ingredient in all modern platforms, silicon vendors and system manufacturers require stability in the Foundation code to protect their investment in innovation," said Will Swope, vice president and general manager of the Software and Solutions Group at Intel. "They expect unfettered access and collaborative control of changes so that interoperability can be maintained."
Intel will release core Foundation code from its next-generation firmware technology as well as a firmware driver development kit. The Foundation code helps ensure that modern, modular firmware drivers written in the C programming language to support silicon from multiple vendors can be integrated together. Under the CPL, any change in the Foundation code itself and the development kit made by one company will be visible and available to all.
"Microsoft is continuing its commitment to open industry standards by adding EFI boot support to all versions of the Longhorn generation of Windows products," said Tony Pierce, Technical Evangelist, Windows Hardware Innovation Group at Microsoft. "Participation in the collaborative community effort around the Foundation code that Intel is announcing today will help systems manufacturers and firmware companies deliver new and exciting platform innovations to their customers."
Intel's next-generation firmware project is an implementation of the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). The EFI specification details an interface to help hand off control of the system from the pre-boot environment to next-generation operating systems. EFI is supported by the most popular 64-bit OS implementations and platforms, and is an emerging interface for 32-bit operating systems.
The project represents more than 200 person years of development by Intel's China Software Centre in Shanghai, and Intel software labs in Oregon and Washington. CollabNet is a leading provider of Internet-based solutions for collaborative development for standalone software, firmware, chipsets and systems. CollabNet solutions, delivered on demand as a managed service, are used by hundreds of thousands of developers and business users at industry-leading companies worldwide.
Using these solutions, companies are reducing costs and increasing revenues by eliminating the inefficiencies and limitations of traditional LAN-based development platforms. CollabNet also provides the infrastructure for some of todays most successful collaborative development efforts, including Subversion (http://subversion.tigris.org) and CVS (http://www.cvshome.org).
"We're very excited to be working with Intel on the Tiano project" said Brian Behlendorf, CTO and founder of CollabNet. "Establishing a collaborative approach to this next-generation technology will drive adoption by the marketplace and support amongst the developers, and open the doors to co-innovation with developers and companies beyond Intel.
CollabNet has a great deal of experience in providing an enterprise-level collaborative software development environment for projects of this scale, as well as the consulting and training needed to produce a vibrant, large and productive community."