Solved Why do computer Peripherals need their own BIOS?

November 4, 2019 at 06:24:24
Specs: Windows 10
I still don't understand why do some of the hardware components inside of the computer, such as video cards and SCSI, have their own BIOS, since from my understanding the BIOS inside of the motherboard provides the programming to communicate with all the other hardware. For an example, why does the BIOS inside of the motherboard need to activate the BIOS of a video card (that has its own BIOS chip) to work?
In addition, besides video cards and SCSI, are there any other internal hardware devices that have their own BIOS chips?

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✔ Best Answer
November 5, 2019 at 02:08:45
To quote from Wikipaedia:

"Much the way the system BIOS provides a set of functions that are used by software programs to access the system hardware, the video BIOS provides a set of video-related functions that are used by programs to access the video hardware as well as storing vendor-specific settings such as card name, clock frequencies, VRAM amount & voltages. The video BIOS interfaces software to the video chipset in the same way that the system BIOS does for the system chipset. The ROM also contained a basic font set to upload to the video adapter font RAM, if the video card did not contain a font ROM with this font set instead."

If these functions were provided on the motherboard, rather than the video card, it would have to know about every possible video card that could be installed in the computer. Apart from being a huge amount of code, this would limit the computer to video cards that were produced before the motherboard (or at least its BIOS). So it's more efficient to store these specialized instructions on the card.

The same will go for some - but not all - other peripherals, such as SCSI cards (rare nowadays) or network cards. With some the instructions are so standard that they can be incorporated in the motherboards's BIOS.



#1
November 4, 2019 at 06:55:19
or example a videocard bios has information on it which tells the card which memory IC's it got micron, hynix, samsung, elpida, etc. these modules run at different speeds & with different timings.

the vrom/bios pretty much tells the cards what hardware it got, at what frequencies it can run at, at what temperature, with what fan rpm, with what memory strap, at what memory frequency, at what powerlimit, etc.....

windows can also recognice the card by its bios. (allowing it to install a driver)

im pretty sure any external device has a bit of Read Only Memory (ROM) embedded to tell the other device interacting with it, what it is.

sorry for my very crude explanation, but this is as far as i know why bioses/rom exist.
the chips tell how to the external piece of hardware, else idd be just a piece of metal& plastic & whatnot

feel to correct me, as im just a hobbyist in my early 20's ;)

i5-6600K[delid]@4.836GHz Core/4.630 Cache@1.456v | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2400MHzCL18@3018MHzCL12@1.465v | Sapphire Nitro+ SE RX 590 8GB@1640Mhz core@1.167v/2236MHz


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#2
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#3
November 4, 2019 at 21:26:08
B= Basic
I= Input
O= Output
S= System
This is the very basic programming instructions that tells the internal chips what their jobs are and how to do them at their most basic level, including interacting with the drivers in the operating system which tells them the higher levels of instructions they need.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
November 5, 2019 at 02:08:45
✔ Best Answer
To quote from Wikipaedia:

"Much the way the system BIOS provides a set of functions that are used by software programs to access the system hardware, the video BIOS provides a set of video-related functions that are used by programs to access the video hardware as well as storing vendor-specific settings such as card name, clock frequencies, VRAM amount & voltages. The video BIOS interfaces software to the video chipset in the same way that the system BIOS does for the system chipset. The ROM also contained a basic font set to upload to the video adapter font RAM, if the video card did not contain a font ROM with this font set instead."

If these functions were provided on the motherboard, rather than the video card, it would have to know about every possible video card that could be installed in the computer. Apart from being a huge amount of code, this would limit the computer to video cards that were produced before the motherboard (or at least its BIOS). So it's more efficient to store these specialized instructions on the card.

The same will go for some - but not all - other peripherals, such as SCSI cards (rare nowadays) or network cards. With some the instructions are so standard that they can be incorporated in the motherboards's BIOS.


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#5
November 5, 2019 at 04:30:46
RE #3 much more clear ;)

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#6
November 5, 2019 at 05:08:44
mmm wiki does like to get into details at times...; at least for the more scholarly minded...

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