The Linux Kernel Obsoletes The Intel Simple Firmware Interface

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 18 January 2020 at 07:50 AM EST. 1 Comment
We haven't heard of the Simple Firmware Interface in a number of years, but that changed this week in Linux now formally marking SFI as "obsolete" and confirmation Intel does not plan to ship any future platforms with this standard that dates back to their early days of working on Atom-powered mobile devices.

The Simple Firmware Interface (SFI) was a standard originally conceived for their Moorestown platform and intended on such lightweight devices to be used rather than ACPI. SFI was designed for such devices that don't need a complete ACPI implementation to instead have this basic firmware interface for exporting static tables to the operating system.

IDF 2007

Well, we know how Intel's mobile ambitions panned out and haven't seen SFI in use since their Minnow Max development board years ago while ACPI is alive and well. Here is a paper back from 2009 on the original SFI concept for those wishing to reminisce.

Leading up to Moorestown was certainly fascinating and at the time when Moblin Linux was getting going... Some more slides from our Moorestown coverage back at IDF 2007... The days of wanting a MID.

Simple Firmware Interface support has been around since Linux 2.6.32 but for the upcoming Linux 5.6 kernel is being marked as obsolete. There hasn't been any active Linux SFI development work done as years and according to developers it doesn't appear Intel plans to ship any further systems with SFI. Unless anything changes and actual users step forward, the Simple Firmware Interface will be removed in the future.
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