UEFI News and Commentary
Saturday, September 02, 2006
From AMI's press release: "Proven stability, modularity and ease of porting of APTIO® are not compromised and they conform to UEFI and PIWG specifications" Wow! Since there are no PIWG specifications yet (the latest are in draft), I guess that's easy to accomplish. And this is the first time I've seen them claim UEFI 2.0 compliance (since that's the only spec released so far). I'm not even sure EDK 2.0 (Intel's tianocore version) can claim that yet.
Pheww. AMI is sure putting out the press releases. This time, around supporting AMD. http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=159150. I suppose this is to balance out their other Intel press release (see my other post). Their drop in support is a nice accomplishment, although I can just imagine the level of hacking necessary to get it to work. But it kind of looks bad for AMD. I mean, you would expect that AMD would be out their touting their support for the new standards and, by the way, they can still plug into the old BIOS, too. Instead, they are still locked into supporting the same number of BIOS vendors as before. If I'm a BIOS customer and I get the supposedly Tiano compliant drivers, what's the advantage? I'm still locked into an AMI code base by license. The next bold step will be for AMD to publish their own drivers. Three out of the four commercial code bases support it (Phoenix hasn't announced any support for the Award code base). Still have to worry about the in-house BIOS teams at places like Dell, IBM, HP, tool. But with the PI standard rolling along, there'll be a lot of incentive for folks to move to the standard. And now, purchasing ATI, we'll really get another chip vendor support UEFI... Tim
As represented here: http://www.pressmethod.com/releasestorage/9378.htm, AMI is making the most of its relationship with Intel, and is starting to do training with Intel's participation, in at least Boston and Santa Clara. They claim to have done one already in Tokyo. This is important for Intel because Intel switched to use Aptio on their mobile reference platforms, but very few of their customers use the AMI code base (AMI having not traditionally been strong in this market). Tokyo is a prime example where nearly all of the platform vendors use Phoenix currently.
I actually went to visit one of the companies which is working on the project: Nanjing Byosoft. This is the one headed by ex-Phoenix employee Kangkang Shen. I went there on the last day of my trip to China. Their focus seems to be on the embedded space and they are in some sort of in-China competition to see who will do the project with the government. They are in a small building in the research park near where Phoenix had its building before. We also toured the sight of their new building, a 10-story building due to be finished next year, all dedicated to BIOS and embedded systems. The other three buildings in that complex are for animaton and game programming.