Browse Prior Art Database

Firmware Image Compression

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115242D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bealkowski, R: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is the application of data compression techniques to the system firmware image of a computer.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 92% of the total text.

Firmware Image Compression

      Disclosed is the application of data compression techniques to
the system firmware image of a computer.

      This image, which includes routines for POST (Power-On Self
Test) and BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) must be stored in a
non-volatile manner.  A FLASH* EEPROM (Electronically Erasable
Programmable Read-Only Memory), provides a desirable means for
storing this image in a form which can be changed subsequently as
needed for updating.  Since this type of storage is more expensive
than other types, data compression techniques are used to minimize
the size of the memory required.

      Fig. 1 is a block diagram showing an example of the code stored
in an EEPROM and the resulting run-time code image subsequently
formed by decompression.  The stored code includes initialization
code needed to start the system, decompression code needed for the
decompression process, and the compressed firmware image.

      Fig. 2 is a table showing how a compressed firmware image
originally occupying 75,293 bytes can be contained within a 64K-byte
storage device, along with at most 8K bytes of decompression code and
2K bytes of initialization code.  Alternative compression methods are
illustrated.  The remaining space is used as an expansion buffer,
providing ample room for expansion of the firmware image with
updating.

      Without the use of data compression, the firmware image of
Fig. 2 would require storage within a 128K-...