How Windows on ARM discovers the underlying hardware?

Emerson Cardoso 26 Reputation points

I know that, for x86 and x64 processors, Windows relies on ACPI to auto-discover the hardware.

However, for smaller systems (notably ARM architectures), a device tree file needs to be passed to the operating system.

Does Windows on ARM also require such a file, for ARM platforms? (i.e. a system on chip).

If yes, is this file embedded with the OS, or stored in the firmware?

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
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Windows Hardware Performance
Windows Hardware Performance
Windows: A family of Microsoft operating systems that run across personal computers, tablets, laptops, phones, internet of things devices, self-contained mixed reality headsets, large collaboration screens, and other devices.Hardware Performance: Delivering / providing hardware or hardware systems or adjusting / adapting hardware or hardware systems.
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Accepted answer
  1. Sean Liming 4,591 Reputation points

    The firmware for WoA is based on the UEFI specification, which has and exposes the ACPI tables. The firmware is separate from the operating systems, but the hardware information is loaded into the registry just like x86

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  1. Doron Holan 1,801 Reputation points

    Device tree is a linux specific solution. WoA requires ACPI.

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