Vital Product Data
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Vital Product Data (VPD) in AIX and Linux is a collection of configuration and informational data associated with a particular set of hardware or software. VPD refers to a subset of database tables in the Object Data Manager (ODM), Therefore the VPD and ODM terms are sometimes referred to interchangeably.
Vital product data (VPD) stores information such as part numbers, serial numbers, and engineering change levels from either the Customized VPD object class or platform specific areas, not all devices contain VPD data.
In Linux, see commands `vpddecode', `biosdecode', and `dmidecode'.
VPD data is typically burned onto EEPROM's associated with various hardware components, or can be queried through attached I2C buses. It is used by firmware (for example, OpenFirmware) to determine the nature of the system hardware, and to shield the operation of the firmware from minor changes and variations of hardware implementations within a given machine model number.