What is Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)

What is Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)

What is UEFI?

The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a software specification that connects the firmware of a computer to the operating system. Although UEFI is anticipated to eventually replace the fundamental input/output system (BIOS), it is backward compatible. The letters U-E-F-I are commonly used to pronounce the specification.

UEFI is controlled by specific firmware loaded on the motherboard of a computer. UEFI, like BIOS, is pre-installed and is the first application that runs when a computer boots up. It finds out what hardware components are attached, wakes them up, and hands them over to the operating system. The new specification tackles a number of BIOS flaws, including constraints on hard drive partition size and the time it takes BIOS to complete tasks.

Although Intel Corp. has indicated its aim to phase out BIOS support in newer personal computers, most modern computer systems are built to support both classic BIOS and UEFI (PCs).

UEFI’s evolution from EFI

Since the introduction of disc OS systems in the mid-1970s, BIOS has been in use. In 1981, IBM was the first business to put BIOS in PCs, a move that sparked widespread adoption across the industry. The arrival of UEFI correlates with the need for increasing drive density in modern application workloads.

In the 1990s, Intel developed the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) as a byproduct of its 64-bit Itanium server architecture, which was co-developed with computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard (HP). The industry saw EFI as a way to get over BIOS’s memory and processing limitations in x86 server computers. The disadvantages included a 16-bit processor mode, limited system memory, and difficult assembly language programming.

Although Intel halted the sole development of the specification with the introduction of EFI version 1.10 in 2005, EFI, which was later renamed Intel Boot Initiative, remains officially Intel’s property. (Intel had also phased out their Itanium processor series by that time, due to product delays and other snafus.) The UEFI Forum, an alliance of chipset, hardware, system, firmware, and operating system suppliers, received EFI 1.10 from Intel.

The UEFI specification standards are developed by an industry group. The most recent standard, UEFI 2.9, was released to the public in March 2021.

Read More:- Explanation: What is an API

What does UEFI do?

UEFI defines a new means of communication between operating systems and platform firmware, giving a lightweight BIOS alternative that only requires the information required to start the OS boot process. Furthermore, UEFI delivers increased computer security measures and backward compatibility with most older BIOS systems.

UEFI

The OS loader uses UEFI to store platform-related data tables as well as boot and runtime service calls. This material provides the required interfaces and structures for firmware and hardware devices to enable UEFI when taken together. Original equipment manufacturers can add programs and drivers to UEFI, which allows it to function as a lightweight operating system.

BIOS is often regarded as a relic of earlier computing, whereas UEFI is regarded as the future. Despite their considerable differences, some users of information technology refer to the processes as UEFI BIOS to make things easier to comprehend.

Advantages of UEFI

UEFI offers a number of advantages over BIOS, including the following:

This is the start-up mode. Users of Microsoft Windows can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI, though experts advise that the OS and firmware bit modes be the same to avoid communication issues during runtime.

It’s all about the drives. UEFI enables boot devices with capacities of 2.2 TB and higher, including drives with a theoretical capacity of 9.4 zettabytes, according to the UEFI Forum. That is significantly in excess of the current maximum drive capacity.

Drivers are those who drive. UEFI enables discrete drivers, whereas BIOS support for discs is stored in read-only memory, requiring it to be tuned for compatibility when drives are swapped out or changes are made.

The user interface is graphical (GUI). New modules, such as device drivers for motherboard hardware and associated peripheral devices, can be introduced to the GUI more readily using UEFI.

There are several operating systems that can be used. UEFI, unlike BIOS, allows users to install loaders for Debian-based Ubuntu and other Linux variations, as well as loaders for Windows OS, in the same EFI system partition.

Programming is a learning skill. UEFI firmware is mostly written in the C programming language, allowing users to add or remove functionality with less programming effort than BIOS, which is written in an assembler language, often in conjunction with C.

Safety is paramount. Secure Boot is a UEFI technology that is available in Windows 8 and later versions of Windows. To validate device and system integrity, Secure Boot turns a system’s firmware into the root of trust. The purpose is to prevent rootkits from being installed in the interim between booting up and handing over to the operating system. Secure Boot also enables an authorized user to remotely set networks and fix defects that would be done in person by a BIOS administrator.

As the maker of computers moves from the BIOS, they commonly use UEFI software that works on current systems with the Compatibility Support Module (CSM). CSM allows UEFI-based PCs to boot into classic BIOS mode to work with earlier Windows versions and other operating systems, albeit it is not meant to be a long-term solution. Users may, however, want to upgrade to the most recent version of the OS in order to fully appreciate the benefits of UEFI.

How to Access UEFI Settings on Modern PCs

Switching to a machine with UEFI won’t be noticed if you’re a regular PC user. Your new computer will boot up and shut down faster than one with a BIOS, and you’ll be able to use drives with capacities of up to 2.2 TB.

UEFI

There may be a tiny variation if you need to access low-level settings. Instead of tapping a key when your machine is booting up, you may need to visit the UEFI settings page using the Windows boot options menu. PC producers don’t want the boot process to slow down by waiting to verify that you’d now push a key to boot the PCs so fast. We found, however, UEFI computers that allow you to access the BIOS equally, by hitting a key while booting.

While UEFI represents a significant advancement, it is often unnoticed. Most PC users will never realize – or care to – that they utilize UEFI rather than traditional BIOS on their new laptops. They will only perform better and support new hardware and features.

What’s the Difference Between UEFI and BIOS

UEFI

Without a doubt, there are significant disparities between the two. In practice, though, they are the same thing. UEFI (UEFI BIOS) and BIOS (legacy BIOS or classic BIOS) are two types of motherboard firmware that control how a computer turns on, which drive it boots from, which peripherals it recognizes, and even the frequency at which the CPU runs. UEFI and BIOS are low-level software that runs before the operating system loaded when you power on your computer.

The difference is that they each have their own technique of waking up the operating system, which will explain which firmware setup software is most popular and why you should choose UEFI over BIOS nowadays. You can start with the major comparison image and then read on for more information.

UEFI vs. Traditional BIOS: Which is Better

We’ve already discussed the differences between UEFI and BIOS. So, which one is best for your computer?

UEFI has a number of advantages over BIOS; consider the following points one by one:

Over 2.2 TB HDD or SSD is supported by UEFI. Small partitions and discs are supported by traditional BIOS.

UEFI provides a more comprehensive setup menu than old BIOS.

Secure boot is supported by UEFI, which protects your computer from malware.

The boot procedure is substantially faster with UEFI, which operates in 32-bit or 64-bit mode and increases the available address area based on BIOS.

Because of the GUID Partition Table (GPT) that UEFI employs to launch EFI executables, it has no problems finding and reading huge hard drives.

If you’re a beginner and don’t care about which firmware is better, BIOS is the way to go. Choose BIOS if your hard discs are less than 2.2TB. If you choose UEFI, however, you can skip to part 6 to convert MBR to GPT.

Conclusion

We attempted to cover everything you need to know about Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). I think you understand all of my points.. If you still have any doubts, please leave the command in the box below.

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