Advanced Configuration and Power Interface


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Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

(hardware, standard)
(ACPI) An open industry standard developed by Intel, Microsoft, and Toshiba for configuration and power management.

The key element of the standard is power management with two important improvements. First, it puts the OS in control of power management. In the currently existing APM model most of the power management tasks are run by the BIOS, with limited intervention from the OS. In ACPI, the BIOS is responsible for the dirty details of communicating with hardware equipment but the control is in the OS.

The other important feature is bringing power management features now available only in portable computers to desktop computers and servers. Extremely low consumption states, i.e., in which only memory, or not even memory is powered, but from which ordinary interrupts (real time clock, keyboard, modem, etc.) can quickly wake the system, are today available in portables only. The standard should make these available for a wider range of systems.

For ACPI to work the operating system, the motherboard chipset, and for some functions even the CPU has to be designed for it. Microsoft is heavily driving a move toward ACPI, both Windows NT 5.0 and Windows 98 will support it. It remains to be seen how much hardware manufacturers will embrace the technology and whether other operating system vendors will support it.

ACPI Information Page.

ACPI

(Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) A power management specification developed by Intel, Toshiba and Microsoft that makes hardware status information available to the operating system. ACPI enables a PC to turn its peripherals on and off for improved power management, especially in portables. It also allows the PC to be turned on and off by external devices, so that the touch of a mouse or the press of a key will "wake up" the machine.

ACPI combines the earlier Advanced Power Management (APM) and PnP BIOS into an enhanced power management system. Starting with Windows 98, ACPI support was built into Windows, and PC chipsets and BIOSes were upgraded to support it. See OnNow.


No ACPI Support Here
TouchStone Software's BIOS Wizard utility identifies and tests your PC's BIOS. Note that this PC does not support ACPI. (Screen image courtesy of TouchStone Software Corporation, www.esupport.com)
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