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Browse Prior Art Database

Operating System Platform Abstraction Method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114906D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Swanberg, RC: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to make the operating system independent of the hardware differences of various platforms.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

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Operating System Platform Abstraction Method

Disclosed is a method to make the operating system independent of the hardware differences of various platforms.

One of the major problems with operating system development and maintenance is making it portable to a wide range of computer platforms. A major portion of development expense is spent in simply modifying the operating system to work with additional platforms.

There are several methods currently in use to accomplish this.

One used in the Intel* world is to have machine specific functions supported in ROM that the operating system can make use of. The ROM (firmware) is a part of the hardware platform and can provide function specific to that hardware that conforms to the standard interface understood by the operating system. The problem with this method is that those operating systems are very dependent on having a platform with this firmware support and therefore are not very hardware independent.

Another method is to have dynamically loadable pieces of the operating system based on platform type. The problem with this method is that it complicates operating system loading and configuration, as well as support and maintenance.

The disclosed solution consists of making use of the operating system loader in order to provide machine specific interfaces. The OS boot loader is a stand-alone boot program that is written to the boot media and booted by the boot ROM. This solution involves having the OS boot loader contain a set of machine specific functions that conform to a well defined interface that the operating system can call.

These routines would consist of anything that could be subroutined as a machine specific function. S...