Despite years of advancements, slow boot times remain a thorn in modern computing’s side, but a new BIOS implementation could change that.
At this year’s IDF show, Phoenix has been starting up Windows 7-based computers in 10 to 20 seconds, showing off its Instant Boot BIOS. The product is based on technology from UEFI, a joint effort by personal computer companies to modernize the booting process.
BIOS isn’t the only factor in boot times, but it’s a significant one, typically adding 5 to 10 seconds to any start-up, by Laptop Magazine’s estimate. That’s because the BIOS has to turn on everything, from the CPU to the hard drives, before the operating system can begin to load. Instant Boot BIOS, by comparison, loads in about a second.
When paired with an optimized Windows 7 start-up feature on PCs unencumbered with bloatware, a Lenovo T400s with a solid state drive loaded in 10 seconds, according to Laptop Magazine. Engadget reports that a Dell Adamo loaded in less than 20 seconds. Granted, these computers were running in ideal conditions, but even the difference between 30 seconds and 40 seconds can feel like an eternity sometimes.
Phoenix is offering the Instant Boot BIOS to computer manufacturers, who could either offer it in new computers or add it to existing ones through a firmware upgrade. It’s not clear whether consumers will have to pay extra for the feature — perhaps manufacturers will find the technology more worthwhile as a marketing point.
Sure, this may not be instant-on computing, but it’s a start.