UEFI standard moves into mobile, embedded apps - Embedded.com

UEFI standard moves into mobile, embedded apps

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Forum,  a standards body previously focused on firmware development for desktop PC platforms is expanding its technology into a variety of non-traditional industry sectors.

The latest UEFI specifications are designed to support firmware for enhanced security and embedding in mobile devices, as well as applications outside of the PC arena.

“This technology has clear advantages for equipment manufacturers, who need cost-effective, standardized solutions to create compelling new products that are compatible with the exponential growth of mobile and non-PC applications,” said Andrew Sloss, senior principal engineer, ARM and UEFI ARM Bindings Sub-Team leader.

By design, he said, UEFI technology lends itself to utility and applicability across a range of platforms and enables cross-functionality between devices, software and systems.

Sloss said expansion of UEFI technology into sectors outside of the PC space is being facilitated by updated specifications, including new versions of UEFI Self-Certification Test (SCT) suites. SCT suites provide the computing industry with a test suite to verify the existence of protocols, as well as input and output parameters.

“The UEFI specification supports a boot loader that is able to launch a wide variety of operating systems,” he said. “This technology has clear advantages for equipment manufacturers, who need cost-effective, standardized solutions to create compelling new products that are compatible with the exponential growth of mobile and non-PC applications.”

Sloss said ARM recommends UEFI as the preferred boot loader for 64-bit processors, based on the ARMv8 AArch64 architecture.

The architecture optimizes applications from smartphones to servers by introducing a new set of features, including a larger register file, enhanced addressing range and cryptography instructions.

“UEFI Secure Boot isn’t just for Windows,” said Mark Doran, president, UEFI Forum. “As more people use mobile devices, the need to protect those devices increases.

“Along with that, we are seeing an increased reliance on firmware innovation across non-traditional market segments. The expansion of UEFI technologies addresses the growing demand for security across the mobile and non-PC application continuum.”

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