Intel BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS) build 837

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Date Added: Jun 2013 / Publisher:Intel / File Size: 41.37 MB
OS: OS Independent


Release Date: 06/16/2013

The Intel BIOS Implementation Test Suite (BITS) provides a bootable pre-OS environment for testing BIOSes and in particular their initialization of Intel processors, hardware, and technologies. BITS can verify your BIOS against many Intel recommendations. In addition, BITS includes Intel’s official reference code as provided to BIOS, which you can use to override your BIOS’s hardware initialization with a known-good configuration, and then boot an OS.

You might want to use BITS if:

  • You’re a system or BIOS developer, and you want to validate that your system meets Intel’s recommendations.
  • You’re an OS or application developer building on technologies provided by Intel platforms, and you want to check if your system (or one of your user’s systems) has configured those technologies correctly.
  • You’re an advanced user or developer, and you want to check your BIOS to see if it configures Intel hardware correctly, and if not, to make a stronger case to your BIOS vendor to get it fixed.
  • You need to poke hardware in a low-level way, and you need a pre-OS environment to work in to avoid OS interference.

BITS functionality fits in three broad categories:

  • Validate: run test suites to verify recommendations
  • Configure: override BIOS using Intel reference code
  • Explore: experimental tools and information gathering

BITS consists of a modified GRUB2 bootloader, with many additional commands to probe and manipulate hardware configuration, as well as scripts using these commands to test and reconfigure hardware.

The current version of BITS focuses primarily on CPU configuration and power management. BITS supplies general tests and functionality for all Intel x86 platforms, as well as additional specific support for Intel® processors based on the microarchitecture code name Nehalem and newer, which includes Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 desktop and mobile processors, and corresponding Intel Xeon server processors.


  • Update to ACPICA version 20130517
  • Update Python to 2.7.5
    Update pyconfig.h, handle new definitions for 32-bit and 64-bit sized integer types, and define EINTR (which Python will never receive but nonetheless expects a definition of).
  • Python readline: write out full lines at a time rather than character-by-character
  • Add a new Python "bitfields" module for bitfield manipulation
    Most Intel documentation references bitfields defined as [msb:lsb], or as [bit]; this module allows creating and extracting such fields without having to translate them to shifts and masks.
  • Add processor socket/core/thread topology decode and display. Contributed by Cathy Ji.
  • Provide a more user-friendly exception when asking for a CPUID on a non-existent CPU
    Now raises a RuntimeError with a clear error message, rather than a TypeError complaining about the inability to *-splat out a None.
  • bits.cpus(): Cache the list of CPUs
    bits.cpus() recomputed the list of CPUs every time, even though it never changed. Cache it instead. Particularly relevant for bits.bsp_apicid(), which calls bits.cpus() to produce the entire list only to return the zeroth element.

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