In general, every model of system board requires personal BIOS version because it incorporates particular qualities of the usable chipset and peripherals. However, it is not profitable for the manufactures to spend time and resources on the full cycle of development their owned BIOS that is why BIOS launching is usually split into two stages.
- BIOS manufacturer (the most famous of which are AMI, Award and Phoenix) develops its basic version, where all functions, not dependent on the set of features of any given chipset, are implemented in.
- System board manufacturer up-grades basic version, taking account of particular board. In addition, BIOS code for the same model can be changed repeatedly by the time of board release. For example, it may be done for correction of the detected errors or addition of the new peripherals support.Consequently, “BIOS version” concept can be used to define:
- basic code BIOS version released by the specialist company: for instance, Award BIOS 6.0 – the sixth BIOS version of Award Software International Inc. which is used in many models of the system board. Otherwise, initial code for every system board can be updated with account for chipset and peripherals features;
- BIOS version for the system board’s particular model and various BIOS modifications or upgrades designed for the same model. The name of such BIOS version usually consists of board model abbreviated notation to which modification or update number is added. When BIOS setup program is being outlined, the term “BIOS version” implies BIOS version for the particular system board model.