We have been following the development of the EFiX device from Art Studios Entertainment for some time now. This week, the EFiX module was updated to version 3.4.5 via a major milestone firmware release.
The new features include the following:
- New core. UEFI Compliance, full PCI-e subsystem enabled.
- Open modular structure for easy future updates.
- Autosensing engine.
- SSE4 Support for Core Image and Open GL, encoding and decoding.
- New drivers for LAN, wired and wireless.
- New EFIX Spatio® Sound drivers, SSE4 Enabled.
- New GFX NVUGA 2.0 Driver, SSE4 Enabled.
- Stability improved on Sync-reliant software.
- Stability and reliability improved on FPU and SSE* reliant software.
- New modular bootloader.
- Readjusted internal BPU clock and energy saving functions.
- FirmSense Function to prevent firmware mismatch.
- New modular hardware support detection and certification system.
The new milestone release not only brings along updates and fixes released in previous firmware versions, but also introduces a plethora of new features. Major fixes have also been introduced.
For those who don’t know what the EFiX module is, it is a small USB device that plugs into a motherboard’s USB header and allows installation of various operating system, regardless of whether the OS relies on the traditional BIOS or the more advanced EFI platform.
One of the most defining results of the EFiX’s support for EFI is that users are able to install Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard operating system. The most impressive feature is that the Leopard running on an EFiX-enabled PC requires no hacking or patching of any kind. Users are able to use standard off-the-shelf PC hardware components, like the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 motherboard for example in conjunction with say an Intel Core 2 Quad processor. We can confirm on our end that the end result works perfectly—like a real Mac.
Besides Apple Mac OS X however, there are other EFI-based operating systems, and in fact, Windows Vista itself supports EFI firmware.
We’ll be releasing our review of the EFiX module soon. In the meantime, Art Studios Entertainment is hosting a $5000 contest for those who can create the best EFiX boot loader splash screen. Head on over to see what it’s all about.