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  1. Technology
November 15, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Personal computer BIOS king Phoenix Technologies Ltd, Norwood, Massachusetts, is offering PhoenixBIOS 4.0, which adds features such as advanced power management and PCI/EISA Bus configuration; Plug & Play support is also promised. The company has made it simpler for personal computer designers to complete their machines since software products for the new BIOS can be developed by simply linking modules together with little or no additional engineering effort, eliminating the hand-coding required by previous generations. The BIOS components are typically created by entering values into tables with little or no programming and set-up and configuration storage definitions are created automatically by the BIOS build tools. It adds an increased upper memory management block area available for memory managers and ROM-resident international language support. BIOS code that is not needed for a particular design can also be discarded to leave more memory space, and performance-sensitive code has been rewritten for 32-bit instructions. There is also improved multilevel password security with virus protection capability. It is also claimed to take less than a week to match the BIOS to a new chip set, work that used to take several weeks. No price was given. On Plug & Play, Phoenix has signed an agreement under which it will develop and license to Microsoft Corp the Plug & Play System BIOS Enumerator which is necessary for supporting the Plug & Play BIOS in a Plug & Play operating system and for providing access to system board devices during the configuration process. The System BIOS Enumerator identifies the embedded devices on a system, as well as devices on a docking station, which provide base functionality for the system. Plug & Play System BIOS provides Event Notification Interface for systems capable of reporting system events, such as inserting a notebook into a docking station or ejecting the micro from it.

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