A timing-independent BIOS Cohen, Howard N; Hanel, John

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Cohen, Howard N ; Hanel, John
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Business; Computers; Compatibility
Problems can arise from providing multiple clock speeds in AT-compatible computers, a common marketing differentiation of IBM compatible vendors; but timing-independent basic input-output systems (BIOS) can eliminate such problems. Problems arise in software programs that are dependent on processor clock speed and in parts of BIOS dependent on critical timing including: high-range, low-range refresh test; floppy disk motor spin-up; and floppy disk head settle. Time-critical machine or program operations typically utilize BIOS-monitored CPU timing loops, but varying clock speeds requires a timing-independent BIOS to use a constant hardware pulse and insertions of wait states to provide the required duration. A timing-independent BIOS determines the timing needs of a particular process, then selects the appropriate timing routines.
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