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.
Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »Have We Become a World of Addicts?
It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
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 »
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 »