The x86-based CPU-Modules from congatec are equipped with a modular BIOS with dedicated "Embedded"-Features supported by the corresponding configuraton tools. This enables the system integrator to adapt the cpu-module to the requirements of the specific application:
The BIOS can display a custom logo instead of the traditional diagnostic output during POST. With the congatec embedded BIOS customers can now integrate an OEM logo into the standard BIOS by themselves.
congatec System Utility
All Embedded BIOS features are accessible through the use of a congatec Windows tool. This includes all manufacturing and statistical information; e.g. serial number, running hours, boot counter etc.
Board Support Packages
congatec offers advanced BSPs, which include both the latest tested drivers from silicon vendors and the congatec specific drivers for accessing all of our additional embedded BIOS and module features.
An onboard micro controller fully isolates most of the embedded features, such as system monitoring, multi stage watchdog or the I²C bus, from the x86 core architecture. This results in higher embedded feature performance and higher overall system reliability
Automatic detection and configuration of an attached flat panel is provided via EPI. EPI is an open standard for easy and direct control of all digital flat panel displays with maximum interchangeability
Customizable Boot Screen
Dark boot, a customized splash screen or a customer logo during POST are the boot screen options which can be set by the customer directly.
LVDS Backlight Control
The backlight intensity can be set in BIOS setup or modified during run time by using the CGOS API and ACPI methods from the operating systems. External DACs and potentiometers are supported. Connections are supported utilizing the I2C or PWM signals.
OEM EDID for LVDS Panel
Allows creation of customized EDID data for any LVDS flat panel and add it to the list of predefined types.
OEM Verb Table
To initialize carrier board HDA codecs at BIOS level
User Data Memory
congatec modules provide 32 Bytes of non-volatile storage in the EEPROM and a 64 kByte block in the BIOS flash memory. This can be used to store critical and important operating data e.g. system ID, IP address, software key, etc. User Data Memory can be locked to prevent manipulation.
UEFI Screenshot Driver
The UEFI Screenshot Driver allows saving the current screen of the BIOS setup to a USB flash drive. The resulting .png files can be used for professional system documentation.
OEM BIOS Code
Allows customers to a “do it yourself” integration of their own legacy code into the BIOS BOOT flow. The congatec embedded BIOS calls OEM code at designated schedules. Possible options are before/after OpROM scan, before setup and before boot. This can be used to initialize custom carrier board hardware, to add PCI/ PCIe OpROMs and boot loaders, to provide Windows SLP string and SLIC tables for OEM activation, to create own HDA codec verb tables or for other OEM customizations.
OEM BIOS Default Settings
The congatec embedded BIOS allows users to create custom OEM default settings. These settings can be stored as defaults in the flash memory.
BIOS Setup Data Backup
The BIOS configuration settings are held in flash memory to allow battery-less applications.
Fast Mode I²C Bus
The I²C Bus is a simple serial bus interface often used for sensors, converters or data storage in embedded applications. All congatec modules offer a 400 kHz multi-master I²C hardware
Further congatec BIOS/Board Controller Features
Type based boot device selection, legacy USB support, USB MSD service boot and generic LPC decoding are also supported. Further features include AT mode shutdown configuration (halt, restart), LID & Sleep support and P-State reduction. Some platforms also allow to drive any IRQ over SERIRQ at the GPIO interface.
ACPI Battery Management Support
Thanks to the optional congatec battery support, mobile battery-operated systems can be implemented without additional BIOS expense. The required communication link to the battery system is already part of the ACPI support within the congatec Embedded BIOS.
The congatec ACPI BIOS and Board Controller are designed to support a CMB (Control Method Battery) sub-system. It’s possible to implement customized battery solutions by following the congatec CMB design guide. The solution also supports the commonly used Smart Battery Chargers and solutions with only a battery implemented.
Power Loss and Power-up Control
This feature controls the operation mode after AC power loss and normal power on. Turn on, remain off and last state modes are possible. This feature does not require an installed CMOS battery.
Multi Stage Watchdog Timer
All congatec modules are equipped with a multi stage watchdog timer supporting different events such as ACPI event, NMI, hardware reset or power button. It can either assert a single event and/or any combination of these events.
Post Watchdog Timer
This feature allows the monitoring of the BIOS POST process. Starts at system power-up and triggers a hardware reset if adjustable timeout (256 ms to 4.5 h) is exceeded before the operating system is started.
Hardware Health Monitoring
The congatec BIOS and board controller have routines implemented to monitor critical components implemented. This allows for extensive fan control and standard temperature sensors for CPU, module and voltage monitoring. The flexible sensor/actuator assignment allows for easy customization.
32/64 Bit Uniform OS API
The congatec embedded BIOS Features are accessible through the uniform APIs EAPI (a PICMG® definition) and and the congatec proprietary CGOS API interface.
OEM SMBIOS/DMI Data
Allows customers to update several SMBIOS strings. This allows for DMI table content control by the OEM customer directly. No 3rd party tools are required.
Optimized Power Management
ACPI Power Management and System Configuration are supported by the congatec BIOS/UEFI according to the ACPI specification.
OEM UEFI DXE Driver / Bootloader
This feature allows customers to integrate their own UEFI DXE driver and bootloaders. The built-in CGOS DXE driver allows for CGOS support (for example to use the I2C bus or initialize the watchdog) in these OEM DXE drivers.
Optimizations for Real Time Operation
The congatec BIOS includes features to optimize the module behavior for best real time operation. CPU and GPU clocks can be fixed and turbo modes / SpeedStep / C-states can be disabled. Further options include PCIe/DMI ASPM disable, Passive cooling disable and support for exclusive IRQ.