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Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

From Academic Kids

The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification is an open industry standard first released in December 1996 developed by HP, Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix and Toshiba that defines common interfaces for hardware recognition, motherboard and device configuration and power management. According to its specification[1] (http://www.acpi.info/spec.htm), "ACPI is the key element in Operating System-directed configuration and Power Management (OSPM)".

The most important element of the standard is power management, of which there have been two major improvements. First, it puts the operating system (OS) in control of power management. Conversely, the currently existing APM model assigns power management control to the BIOS, with limited intervention from the OS. In ACPI, the BIOS is responsible for the dirty details of communicating with hardware equipment but the control is in the OS.

The other important feature of ACPI is in bringing power management features currently only available in portable computers to desktop computers and servers. Extremely low consumption states, i.e. in which only memory, or not even memory is powered, but from which ordinary interrupts (real time clock, keyboard, modem, etc.) can quickly wake the system, are today available in portables only. The standard should therefore make these features available for a wider range of systems.

The standard supports keys for suspending or powering off the computer. Some vendors (e.g. Asus and Compaq) have extended this feature and use it for other keys, especially so-called multimedia keys.

ACPI cannot be applied to older hardware; for it to work, the OS, motherboard chipset, and for some functions even the CPU need to be designed for it.

The first version of Windows to support ACPI was Windows 98.

External links

This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.
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