GENERIC BOOT LOADER FOR INITIALIZING A DEVICE CARD ATTACHED TO A COMPUTER VIA AN EXPANSION BUS
Original Publication Date: 2001-Mar-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Mar-19
Successful products are commonly modified to create new products that address particular market segments or customer requirements. This development model is valid for personal computer expansion (or device) cards. These products usually comprise the device card and personal computer software (a driver). It is desirable that device card changes not require changes to the accompanying driver, as this removes the possibility of introducing errors and reduces the number of software programs that must be maintained. A driver program provides the mechanism with which high-level software communicates with the device card and initializes (or boots) the device card at power-up. In the past, when a device card was modified the driver had to change so that it could properly initialize the new card at power-up. This was true even if the high-level software was not being changed. Here we describe a generic boot mechanism that allows a single driver to initialize any of several different device cards.