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Intel Firmware Engine streamlines IoT dev't

17 Apr 2015  | Bernard Cole

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During the recent Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China, the company has released a solution intended for Internet of Things (IoT) developers: those from desktop/laptop, mobile/smartphone and enterprise platforms with few skills in developing the embedded firmware that these devices need. Based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard, Firmware Engine is a GUI-based tool, hosted on a Microsoft Windows platform, Intel noted.

The solution claims to allow developers to quickly create binary firmware images based on Intel-certified UEFI code. These binaries can then be used by a developer to create the basic software needed to initialize platform hardware and launch operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Android and Linux.

The UEFI standard defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware and replaces the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface used on early Intel- and Windows-based systems. As of Version 2.4 released in 2013, it now supports Intel's Itanium, x86 and x86-64 as well as ARM's AArch32 and AArch64. The Linux kernel is also able to use EFI at boot time.

Firmware Engine

The Firmware Engine is a step-by-step guide to implementing boot firmware on Atom CPUs.

In a recent blog post, Michael Greene, VP of the Intel Software and Services Group, said the tool was developed because device manufacturers expressed the need for firmware to do one basic job, booting their systems.

"Firmware is essential to the boot process, but it's not what device manufacturers want to spend most of their time working on. Intel is providing the Firmware Engine to automate firmware development so manufacturers can focus on creating innovative products for their customers."

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