What is BIOS?

BIOS: Basic Input Output System

BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System, and it is a computer programme that is normally stored in EPROM and is utilised by the CPU to complete start-up procedures when the computer is turned on.

  • Its two main tasks are determining whether peripheral devices are present (keyboard, mouse, disc drives, printers, video cards, and so on) and loading the operating system (OS) into main memory.
  • This programme regulates data flow between the OS and peripherals after startup, so neither the OS nor the application programmes need to be aware of peripheral details (such as hardware addresses).
  • It was replaced in the early twenty-first century by the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which can handle significantly larger discs and is faster than BIOS.

Full Form of UEFI: United Extensible Firmware Interface

History of BIOS

  • “Gary Kildall”, an American computer scientist, first invented the name BIOS in the year 1975.
  • It was included in IBM’s first personal computer in 1981, and it grew in favour among other PCs over time, eventually becoming a fundamental feature of computers.
  • The popularity ,has faded in favour of a newer technology known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Intel announced in 2017 that support for legacy BIOS systems would be phased out by 2020 in favour of UEFI.

Main functions of BIOS

  • After a computer is turned on, it discovers, configures, tests, and links computer hardware to the operating system. The boot procedure is the culmination of these phases.
  • BIOS’ four major functions each perform one of these tasks:
    • Power-on self-test (POST). This tests the hardware of the computer before loading the OS.
    • Bootstrap loader. This locates the OS.
    • Software/drivers. This detects the software and drivers that interface with the Operating System (OS) once running.
    • Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) setup

This is an Configuration/ application that allows users to change the hardware and system settings. Its’ non-volatile memory is known as CMOS.


Top Manufacturers of BIOS

Many manufacturers now include BIOS chips in their motherboards. The following are some examples:

  • AMI
  • Asus
  • Foxconn
  • Hewlett Packard (HP)
  • Ricoh

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