BIOS History

BIOS first appeared in IBM PC personal computers in 1981. Its main task was to provide basic functions for working with the computer's hardware, such as working with the keyboard, monitor, or floppy drive. BIOS was stored in ROM (Read-Only Memory) and was written to be independent of a specific operating system. As hardware and technology developed, BIOS evolved, gaining new functions like support for hard drives, USB devices, and more.

Types of BIOS

There are two main types of BIOS:

  1. Legacy BIOS - the traditional BIOS that has been used in IBM-compatible computers for many years. Legacy BIOS has limited functionality and support for newer hardware, leading to its gradual replacement with newer systems.
  2. UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - a modern successor to BIOS, offering extended functionality, support for newer hardware, and advanced configuration options. UEFI enables better security, faster system startup, and support for larger storage.

BIOS Use Beyond Computers

BIOS is used not only in personal computers but also in some other types of devices, such as server systems, embedded systems, and development boards. In these devices, BIOS performs a similar role as in personal computers - initializing hardware, ensuring compatibility, and enabling proper communication between hardware and software.

From 1981 to the Present

  • 1981: BIOS first appeared in IBM PC personal computers
  • 1990s: BIOS became the standard for most personal computers and began to support newer technologies like hard drives, USB devices, and more.
  • 2005: Intel introduced UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) as a modern alternative to traditional BIOS.
  • 2010s: UEFI became the dominant firmware in new personal computers and devices, replacing Legacy BIOS.

Today, BIOS remains an important element in the computer world, although its successor, UEFI, has taken over most functions and responsibilities. BIOS laid the foundation for the development and innovation of computer systems and enabled security and stability in communication between hardware and software.

While UEFI has taken over most functions and responsibilities of BIOS, some systems and configurations still use BIOS as their base firmware. Reasons may include compatibility with older devices, costs of transitioning to UEFI, or specific hardware or software requirements. UEFI and BIOS share a common purpose - to initialize hardware and mediate communication between hardware and the operating system, but UEFI is a more modern and advanced tool that allows better support for new technologies and a higher level of security.