ALERT

[FREE DEMO] Deploy Your Enterprise Cloud in Minutes

Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)

Definition - What does Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) mean?

A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) is a logical division of code that serves as an abstraction layer between a computer's physical hardware and its software. It provides a device driver interface allowing a program to communicate with the hardware.

The main purpose of a HAL is to conceal different hardware architectures from the OS by providing a uniform interface to the system peripherals.

Techopedia explains Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)

A hardware abstraction layer is included in many OSs to avoid modifying the OS kernel to run the program on computers with varying hardware architecture. A PC may include the HAL in the OS kernel or in the form of device drivers that provide a consistent interface for applications to interact with the hardware peripherals.

The HAL provides the following benefits:

  • Allowing applications to extract as much performance out of the hardware devices as possible
  • Enabling the OS to perform regardless of the hardware architecture
  • Enabling device drivers to provide direct access to each hardware device, which allows programs to be device-independent
  • Allowing software programs to communicate with the hardware devices at a general level
  • Facilitating portability

Some of the OSs that feature HALs include the Mac OS, Linux, DOS, Solaris, BSD, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and IBM’s AS/400.

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
Tweat cdn.techopedia.com
"Techopedia" on Twitter


'@Techopedia'
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Resources
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.