Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
UEFI(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) A standard programming interface for booting a computer. Governed by the UEFI Forum (www.uefi.org), it evolved from the EFI interface developed by Intel, first used in its Itanium line. Designed to replace the BIOS startup system, UEFI is also compatible with older BIOS-based machines. See BIOS.
PCs began to ship with UEFI in the mid-2000s, and Microsoft support began with the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Server 2008. Most Windows, Mac and Linux machines support UEFI, but all of its features may not be supported in all versions. For example, UEFI's secure boot did not appear in Windows until Windows 8 (see secure boot).
UEFI Is Software Based
UEFI resides in a folder in flash memory on the motherboard, storage drive or network drive. The U in UEFI (Unified) means any platform can be supported by recompiling the boot code, and the E in UEFI (Extensible) means functions can be added and enhanced.
A Lower-Level Operating System
Residing between the computer's startup firmware and the OS, UEFI is able to perform diagnostics, authentication and encryption as well as detect malware. UEFI can reside stand-alone or be invoked after a BIOS-based machine performs its power on self test (POST) and hardware setup. See BIOS and GPT.