Short for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, UEFI is a specification that defines a more modernized model for the interface between computer operating systems and platform firmware during the boot, or start-up, process.
UEFI originated as the Intel Boot Initiative in the late 1990s before being turned over to the Unified EFI Forum, and today the forum and specification remain the result of a collaborative effort between computer processor manufacturers like AMD and Intel and software operating system companies like Microsoft and Apple.
In many ways, UEFI serves as a software-driven, bare-bones operating system that can sit on top of the legacy BIOS boot process, and like BIOS, UEFI is responsible for initializing the hardware of a device or computer before passing control of the hardware to the operating system. Most newer computer platforms support both UEFI and legacy BIOS booting in order to ease the transition to UEFI and accommodate older operating systems that don't have built-in UEFI support.
The UEFI specification offers advanced features over BIOS such as secure boot, low-level cryptography, network authentication and universal graphics drivers. The Secure Boot functionality in UEFI provides the basis for the Microsoft Secure Boot feature in Windows 8 that enables the OS to detect rootkits and similar malware attacks.
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »Cloud Computing Market Leaders, 2015
If not for AWS, Microsoft would dominate the cloud. The race to capture market share will grow ever more fierce in the years ahead. Here's a look... Read More »
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »