PhoenixBIOS 4.0, Release 6.1

Source: Phoenix Technologies Ltd.

PhoenixBIOS 4.0, Release 6.1 has been especially designed to curtail the manufacturing costs associated with
PhoenixBIOS 4.0, Release 6.1 has been especially designed to curtail the manufacturing costs associated with full-feature deployments and to reduce deployment cycles. In addition, Release 6.1 allows OEMs to differentiate and enhance the performance of their products and introduce them to market faster than before. The improvements that make all of this possible include the addition of new features, existing feature enhancements, and new tools and utilities. Release 6.1 also includes the ability to use core features across platforms to satisfy different market segments, such as servers, desktops, and notebooks. PhoenixBIOS 4.0 also continues to support the latest technology and to assure compatibility with the latest industry standards.

Standards Compliant BIOS - Universal Serial Bus (USB), PCI, Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), Wired for Management (WfM), NetPC, and PC '99 are some of the industry standards that Release 6.1 puts to work for customers. Among the more notable features to ensure rapid certification are ACPI, QuickBoot, Motherboard Configurable Devices (MCD7) and Graphical Boot and Setup:

  • ACPI - ACPI BIOS provides a firmware interface that reports hardware and system level information to the OS for its use and management. QuickBoot - Booting to the Operating System is expedited with this new feature.
  • QuickBoot can be enabled/disabled in setup and automatically disables itself upon error detection. MCD -
  • MCD includes a central resource manager that controls removable device resources allocation, and motherboard-based devices, such as Super I/O and sound controllers. MCD provides full device registration and configuration for the widest degree of device configuration flexibility.
  • Graphical Boot and Setup - Setup now uses VGA capabilities allowing manufacturers to include bit map files for QuietBoot screens and to take advantage of extended character-set options for SETUP and POST messages.

Ease of Deployment - PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.1 was designed to offer the greatest degree of differentiation while actually expediting the deployment process:

  • String Manager - Text and Setup strings are managed by a database and are accessed by token name. Isolating strings from code ensures portabil-ity, and easily clones "look-and-feel" from one system to another. Multiple language support also becomes effortless with this new feature.
  • POST Error Manager - Error messages are held in a separate database for easy customization without having to rebuild the rest of the BIOS.
  • CMOS Mapping - CMOS mapping tools make it easy for manufacturers to efficiently use CMOS bits and to preserve certain bit map locations from one platform to another.
  • Configurable POST - Manufactures can develop multiple boot paths based on specific market requirements, or on errors or other conditions encountered during POST.

Expanded List of Silicon Components
Release 6.1 also supports the latest silicon, featuring the newest technologies including ACPI, US13 and AGF Phoenix's influential position in the market place permits our engineers access to first hand information on the most significant silicon allowing us to share our understanding with system manu-facturers for rapid implementation of the latest silicon across the broadest range of configurations. Our dedicated team works closely with core logic chipsets, CPUs, I/O, and audio components vendors to deliver the most compatible solution in the market. Each BIOS port goes through an engi-neering test followed by a more comprehensive QA test performed in the Phoenix Quality Assurance department. The result is a high quality, fully tested BIOS for each CPU, chipset, or other silicon capability.

Power Management Leadership

APM Power Management
Using Phoenix's many years of experience in power management and its object-oriented power management architecture, Phoenix has integrated robust support for precise power control for Servers, Desktops, Notebooks, and Embedded. Core BIOS support for APM (Advanced Power Management) Version 1.2 includes the most granular degree of power management available.

Phoenix had the first ACPI compliant BIOS, demonstrated by Microsoft in August of 1996. Since then, Phoenix has continued in its development and now has a version 1.0 compliant BIOS available. New features are being added to enhance the basic support required for logo certification and to allow for greater product differentiation for our customers.

The architecture of Phoenix's ACPI BIOS solution is designed to reduce the burden of bringing ACPI support to a new platform. It does this by providing a simple interface to the most common porting issues, a strong set of core support routines and tight integration with Motherboard Configurable Devices (MCD).

Phoenix Service and Support
Phoenix Technologies, with development offices around the world, provides local support to manufacturers, system integrators, and system designers. In addition to providing standard BIOS support as the leading BIOS supplier of PCI, Plug and Play, and Power Managed systems, Phoenix also provides highly customized desktop solutions for today's successful manufacturers.

For manufacturing customers implementing PhoenixBIOS/NoteBIOS without the assistance of our worldwide deployment team, Phoenix offers a wide range of classes from BIOS basics to an advanced developer's course. These classes cover the latest trends in technology, new features and manufacturer-specific capabilities.

Today's manufacturers require more from their firmware supplier. Phoenix meets not only the demands for current firmware, but also helps manufacturers deploy new technologies quickly and get their products to market faster. Successful PC suppliers depend on Phoenix Technologies as their technology partner.

Phoenix Technologies Ltd., 411 East Plumeria Drive, San Jose, CA 95134. Tel: 408-570-1000; Fax: 408-570-1001.