This is a joint blog written by Dong Wei, HP Fellow, UEFI Forum VP (Chief Executive), ACPI SIG Secretary, and Andrew N. Sloss, BCS Chartered Fellow, ARM Senior Principal Engineer and UEFI ABST sub-team leader.
Following today’s announcement: UEFI Forum Includes ACPI Specification in Portfolio, Unites Platform Interface Industry Standards
What is ACPI? Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is an open standard that supports device discovery and power management. The first version of which was released in December 1996. The standard is designed to be platform independent and architecturally neutral. Revision 5.0 includes ARM® architecture extensions for lightweight ACPI tables to be created. It is a critical part of Operating System-directed configuration and Power Management (OSPM). This means a generic single-image kernel can discover, control the hardware and manage power. It is extensively used in laptops, desktops and servers today.
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Moving ACPI into the UEFI Forum is probably one of the biggest changes in the computing industry since the formation of the UEFI Forum in 2005. With almost 51 promoters/contributors and over 250 members, the UEFI Forum is by far the de facto industry standards body for platform interfaces. It is already responsible for defining the UEFI specification that governs the programmable boot services and a limited number of runtime interfaces between the operating systems and system firmware, as well as the PI specification that governs the system firmware’s internal interfaces for modularity and flexibility. It is only natural for the forum to also take on the primary runtime interfaces for system configuration and management. Besides, all the ACPI SIG promoters/contributors are already members of the UEFI Forum (more often than not represented by the very same people).
The UEFI Forum’s much wider membership will define ACPI and the anticipation it that ACPI would be as widely adopted as UEFI across the industry, including the ARM eco-system. ACPI 5.0 had a good start in defining interfaces needed for the ARM SoC-based systems, with the expectation that the next version of ACPI would continue to fill in the gaps for ARM in the areas of core-system resources descriptions, processor-power state descriptions and the reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features targeting servers.
Owning ACPI, UEFI and PI, the UEFI Forum now becomes the one stop shop for all interfaces related to system firmware. This unprecedented unification enables more consistent definitions moving forward.
For the ARM ecosystem this is also great news. ACPI provides a means to standardize and remove fragmentation in power management and hardware discovery. ACPI will simplify and generalize OS code, allow the leveraging of existing code, and drive towards single-kernel images that can boot, discover and manage a plethora of ARM platforms. The active participation of ARM and many of its ecosystem partners in the UEFI Forum will help shape the future of ACPI, ensuring it best matches current and future ARM-based hardware,and helps to realize the full potential of ACPI.
From Linaro Connect Keynote, go in 37 minutes into the video for "Enabling Next Generation Configuration and Power Management" talk.