BIOS Autodetection Design

Matthew Sullivan matthew at
Tue Jan 12 16:45:38 CET 1999

M Carling wrote:

> > 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?

But i think the original idea was to support old & new machines new machines only
a handful of configs - MB chipset wise...

Old machines though (back to 386's) would need a larg number due to the excessive
numbers of different chipsets.  However in this sineario -damn i can't speel- the
base support could probably be deturmined by the compiler (user) rather than
loading on all chipset support. ie: The user specifies an Intel *X based MB or
Intel RZ based MB, or CiC based MB etc.. and the BIOS takes care of the rest
etc....  That could even be done automagically by 'configure/make config' if you


Mickey aka Matthew

PS I deliberately separated the RZ MB's cause some of you will probably know there
was a _LOT_ of bugs in the chipset - Source of info Linux source....
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