Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Phoenix EBSF training completed

I'm now fully trained to work on Phoenix Technologies Embedded BIOS with StrongFrame Technology. I just finished the short two day course in which myself and two other colleagues learnt all about writing, creating and debugging our very own embedded BIOS program. It seemed very straightforward and in theory a simplistic and well laid out method for customising a BIOS for an embedded system. There is of course limited functionality compared to the SecureCore Tiano, but there is still plenty of functionality and enough for what embedded space is looking for. I think there's a couple of hundred different modules that can be incorporated in the embedded space whereas SecureCore covers a couple of thousand modules and a much stronger BIOS.

I've already worked on two of my own BIOS's for customers but after this training I should be able to complete my work much faster and in a much more controlled and more efficient manner. I'm currently looking into Microsoft's Simple Boot Flag for a project I'm working on. Basically this flag forces the BIOS splash screen on the video output until Windows sets this flag. This can be useful in a number of different situations.

The course covered some PCI architecture, memory mapping, e820 tables, a brief introduction to ACPI and the various methods for debugging the board. With regards debugging there is a lot of functionality and various outputs to help get a board working to meet the customers requirements.

I look forward to working on more Embedded BIOS now as I can practice my new-found skills.