Wondering what is firmware? If your answer is yes, then read on. Firmware is a pretty common word that we get to hear quite often. However, not everyone is pretty sure what it actually is.
Hence, to make it clear for you, I thought of writing down what is Firmware. So you can get a clear about it. Anyway, let’s just head into the topic without wasting much of the time:
What is Firmware?
In simple words, Firmware is a software program, or you can say a set of instructions programmed for a hardware device. It offers necessary instructions on how a device communicates with computer hardware.
Firmware is usually stored in the flash ROM of a hardware device. While ROM is read only memory the flash ROM can be erased and rewritten.
You can also consider Firmware as “semi-permanent” since it remains the same unless it is updated by a firmware updater. And there are often times when we have to update the Firmware for certain devices. Such as hard drivers, video cards. So they can work easily with our operating system.
Types of Firmware
The first thing that comes to life after the computer is started is the BIOS. BIOS is an essential part of any computer. And it interacts with hardware and check if there are any unknown errors or not.
And then it signals another program called bootloader which makes your computer boot into the operating system which has been stored into the hard drive of your computer. Or stored into the access memory.
So, BIOS is mainly responsible for handling your computer hardware components. And it ensures that your computer is functioning properly. Although this low level software have not received any changes for quite a long time now. But in today’s time, it is becoming outdated or unsupported by most of the modern technologies.
EFI – Extensible Firmware Interface
EFI or Extensible Firmware Interface is a specification for a new generation of system firmware. It offers fast instructions used by the VPU to startup hardware. As well as it passes the control to the bootloader. EFI sometimes also referred to as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI. And it has certain advantages over the BIOS.
For example, it helps us to make sure that our PC boots using the only software that is trusted by the PC manufacturer. Also, it supports a feature called ‘Secure Boot’ to improve security.
Also, knowing your computer’s BIOS version can help you find the most up to date version. On Windows computers, you will be able to get the versions using the command prompt. Or you can use an upgrade assistant for your computer.
Also, one of the easiest ways to figure out the version is to open Devices Manager. Then, simply expand the category, select the hardware, and right click on it and go to the Properties. Now under the Details tab, from the Property drop-down menu, select Hardware Ids. Here in the Value table, you should see the firmware version.
What is the difference between firmware and Software?
Most of the users often get confused between Firmware and Software. And they consider both of them as the same. Although both of the things are assigned instructions to complete tasks on a computer. Hence, it is okay to call as software. But, the roots of these programs are what make them different from each other.
For example, Software is virtual. And it cannot be copied, changed, or destroyed. And it is often stored in the memory, which is easily accessible and even replaceable by the user. But when it comes to firmware, the memory where it stays is often embedded in the device itself. Hence, users cannot replace it.
On the other hand, you can upgrade software. Hence, the information stored in it also can be modified or altered with each execution of the application. However, this is not the same case with a firmware. does not really change too often.
So that was the answer to your question that says what is firmware. I hope this cleared all your doubts. In case if you have any more questions to ask. Then do feel free to comment below.