bare metal


Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Idioms.

bare metal

(1)
New computer hardware, unadorned with such snares and delusions as an operating system, an HLL, or even assembler. Commonly used in the phrase "programming on the bare metal", which refers to the arduous work of bit bashing needed to create these basic tools for a new computer. Real bare-metal programming involves things like building boot PROMs and BIOS chips, implementing basic monitors used to test device drivers, and writing the assemblers that will be used to write the compiler back ends that will give the new computer a real development environment.

bare metal

(2)
"Programming on the bare metal" is also used to describe a style of hand-hacking that relies on bit-level peculiarities of a particular hardware design, especially tricks for speed and space optimisation that rely on crocks such as overlapping instructions (or, as in the famous case described in The Story of Mel, interleaving of opcodes on a magnetic drum to minimise fetch delays due to the device's rotational latency). This sort of thing has become less common as the relative costs of programming time and computer resources have changed, but is still found in heavily constrained environments such as industrial embedded systems, and in the code of hackers who just can't let go of that low-level control. See Real Programmer.

In the world of personal computing, bare metal programming is often considered a Good Thing, or at least a necessary evil (because these computers have often been sufficiently slow and poorly designed to make it necessary; see ill-behaved). There, the term usually refers to bypassing the BIOS or OS interface and writing the application to directly access device registers and computer addresses. "To get 19.2 kilobaud on the serial port, you need to get down to the bare metal." People who can do this sort of thing well are held in high regard.

bare metal

(1) Hardware. A "bare metal computer" is generally one without any software (OS or applications). However, when contrasted with a virtualized server environment, bare metal may imply a regular, non-virtual server that does include an OS. See bare bones system and bare-metal server.

(2) A "bare metal" virtual machine monitor, correctly called a "hypervisor," directly controls the hardware without using device drivers from another operating system (see virtual machine). See bare-metal switch.
References in periodicals archive ?
Oracles accelerated bare metal shapes are also powered by NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, based on the Pascal architecture.
Bare metal cloud server in Unisecure incurs lesser costs in terms of software licensing as the bare metal infrastructure greatly complies even with the low-cost software deployment.
Packet is leveraging Zayo's FlexConnect Ethernet solution and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) ports to provide customers with access to single-tenant bare metal servers at affordable hourly rates.
The bare metal, dedicated systems will be equipped with Power KVM, an open-source virtualization solution used to manage Linux systems, allowing clients the ability to standardize their clouds with a single open-source virtualization technology.
It also provides information about clinical trials in progress, which includes trial phase, trial status, trial start and end dates, and, the number of trials for the key Bare Metal Stents pipeline products.
RecoverEDGE bare metal disaster recovery automatically rebuilds disk partitions and volume groups, then restores from any of the above media.
Data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery services provider Axcient Inc unveiled on Wednesday the latest feature of its complete data protection platform, Bare Metal Restore (BMR) for workstations.
Svelte Medical anticipates obtaining CE Mark for the first generation bare metal SOAW by the middle of 2010 and plans to initiate clinical activities for the DES in 2011.
The paclitaxel-eluting stent had a rate of 10 per cent and the bare metal stent had a rate of 22.
Drug-eluting stents were inserted in 1 120 patients and bare metal stents in 5 320.
Stents come in two forms: bare metal, or coated with drugs designed to keep the arteries from re-clogging.
Drug-coated stents (also called drug-eluting stents), which release medication into the artery wall, are twice as effective as older bare metal stents in keeping the artery from narrowing again (restenosis), helping patients avoid repeat angioplasty or bypass surgery.