BIOS Autodetection Design

M Carling m at
Tue Jan 12 07:34:34 CET 1999

> >The objective is not to write OpenBIOS such that (in practice) a single
> >compiled image can boot any chipset. Rather, the autodetect objective is
> >that a set of chipsets may be chosen at compile time from which the image
> >is about to boot. Thus, for example, a MB manufacturer could compile a
> >BIOS such that one image would work for all the MBs that they manufacture.

> If this (compile time selection) is the objective, why call it autodetect? I
> would have thought from the name that one image fits all. Then, at run time
> it is autodetected, requiring all of the tables at once.

If someone chooses a set of chipsets at compile time, and then compiles
an image which can automatically detect which of those chipsets it on the
MB on which it finds itself running, why not call that autodetect? Do you
have a better name in mind for such functionality?

Note that the software architecture would not impose any particular limit
on the size of the set of chipsets for which support could be compiled in.
Rather the size of the image is the only constraining factor. I cannot think
of an application that would require a BIOS image that supports more than
a handfull of chipsets. MB manufacturers wouldn't need more than a handful,
home users wouldn't need more than a handful, and embedded systems builders
probably wouldn't need more than one. Who needs a BIOS compiled to run on
every machine?


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