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Some technical details about the EFiX module

We Interview EFiX Creators: OS X on PC

Tuan: We’re very interested in it from both a technical point of view as well as a legal point of view — you know the legal question was coming!

Davide: I’m happy to explain that our module is perfectly legal, for a number of reasons, most of them technical. So we can reattach to the tech discussion too. First of all, the EFiX is absolutely not related to the hackintosh underworld. It doesn’t use a single line of patched code, and I am going to explain to you why.

The EFiX is not a pen-drive at all. Inside it, there is a very powerful CPU and several gigabytes of dedicated static RAM. The module has its own code, language and endless functions. So there is absolutely no way that we even thought about using the patch-a-boo approach of "hackintosh".

Tuan: Essentially you’ve developed a module that sits between the host system BIOS and Leopard letting a genuine, unpatched copy of the OS think the host is a Mac?

Davide: That’s just a small part of it. The EFiX is a total expansion for the PC, it takes over the low-level functions of the board and supports all of the onboard hardware. I’m afraid I can’t tell you the secrets, but I can surely tell you the main characteristics.

For example, having a multi-boot setup is just one of the many features of the module. Now I’m afraid I can’t go into that, but there is a lot of stuff planned in the near future.

Tuan: Several years ago, during the 486 days, companies like Evergreen developed PCI boards that contained complete embedded systems, allowing users to upgrade their aging 486 computers to a full Pentium-level system, using a real Pentium chip with separate memory and all. Is this what your product essentially does? Replace the BIOS calls and riding the USB interface?

Davide: Ah I think I remember that. This also happened on the Mac platforms.

Tuan: So is it safe to assume that the EFiX works in similar ways?

Davide: Our product doesn’t take over the main CPU of course, it just manages its own functions, and helps vastly in the peripheral management. So not only is the EFiX not a "hackintosh" thing, it does much more, and will do much more. [You can] run a perfectly legal, original copy of Leopard on your PC.

Tuan: I see. That’s great for the community then, if they can just plug in the EFiX and have a go at Leopard.

Davide: And I can tell you some juicy news too actually. X48 support is nearly finalized. The testing is going quite well so far. By the time you receive the modules, X48 support should be included too. My personal board is a [Gigabyte] X48 DQ6, best board I ever had.

Tuan: Actually that reminds me. I have another question for you. Why will the 8800GTX I have to test the EFiX with be limited to just 256 MB of memory?

Davide: It is just a cosmetic thing, and anyway, that is going to be fixed with the new firmware — Like the memory speed. System memory speed is always read at 800 MHz now. Even if it is faster. That will also be amended.

I forgot to tell you one of the most important things.

Tuan: What’s that?

Davide: The EFiX is the first BPU (boot processing unit) on the market.

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