Definition

hardware abstraction layer (HAL)

Part of the Hardware glossary:

1) In computers, a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) is a layer of programming that allows a computer operating system to interact with a hardware device at a general or abstract level rather than at a detailed hardware level. Windows 2000 is one of several operating systems that include a hardware abstraction layer. The hardware abstraction layer can be called from either the operating system's kernel or from a device driver. In either case, the calling program can interact with the device in a more general way than it would otherwise.

2) "HAL" was the name of the computer that ran the spaceship in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's film 2001.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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