What is Firmware? And How to Update Firmware? Know Everything

by Ajay Nager • Last Updated

Firmware is a type of software that is attached to hardware. It has instructions and programs to perform the basic functions of any hardware.

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Computers have many types of hardware and software, with the help of which the computer is able to perform the tasks given by the user. Every hardware and software is built to carry out a particular task. We all must have heard a lot of names of hardware and software. But there is one more thing that a computer cannot be started without its use, and that is the name of the firmware, all of you must have heard. But do you know what role it plays in starting a computer? We thought that the computer works because of the operating system and CPU, but this fact is just half incomplete truth.

The computer is of no use without firmware. You will be surprised to know that firmware is used not only in computers. But also in many electrical and hardware devices, such as smartphones, smart TVs, washing machines, smartwatches, etc. Its work is small, but it is crucial for every machine device. Today, in this article, we know what the firmware is? And where does it store? So definitely read the article till the last.

To understand firmware, you must first understand hardware and software.

Hardware is an electronic device that is a part of a computer that we can touch and see. These are the physical parts with the help of which the body of the computer is prepared. Examples of hardware are monitor, keyboard, mouse, CPU, etc.

Whereas, Software is a set of instructions and programs that instruct a computer to perform a specific task. The software provides the user with the ability to work on the computer. An operating system is a prime example of software.

Both hardware and software together perform the work of a computer and give the output to the user.

What is Firmware?

Now we tell you what the firmware is? It is a type of software that attaches to a piece of hardware. It has instructions and programs to perform the basic functions of any hardware. That is why we can also call firmware as software for hardware. It is a program that comes together with the hardware. It means the firmware is installed when manufacturing any hardware such as keyboards, hard drives, graphic cards, printers, etc. Apart from this, it also has firmware attached to any of your home appliances such as TVs, microwaves, ovens, washing machines, etc.

Firmware is a small piece of software that does hardware work. It provides instructions for communicating all hardware devices with other devices in the system and performing basic input-output tasks. Without the firmware, most of the electronic devices we use cannot work because every small and large electronic device has a software installed that lets it understand the inputs given by the user.

Example:

washing machine

Let’s take an example of a washing machine, which has some buttons that are used to control the device and get it to work according to our needs. But have you thought that as soon as we press a button, how does the machine understand how much speed or in which mode to work? The machine understands because there is a memory inside the firmware which is installed, and due to the same software, the machine understands our inputs. Similarly, you will have seen your computer’s bios, and it is also a firmware installed in the ROM of computer hardware.

firmware checks pc hardware

Before loading the operating system into the computer, the firmware checks all the hardware devices to see if they are in the correct position and whether they are working correctly or not, and whether there is any defect in them. Only then the operating system is loaded into RAM and brings the computer to work. So after understanding this, we will know where the firmware is stored in the computer.

Where Firmware is Stored in Computer?

By now, you have come to know that firmware is written in the form of software as a program to give instruction directly on the hardware device. But the question arises as to where the firmware is stored on a device? Firmware is usually stored in a particular type of memory called a flash ROM. The ROM, which is called read-only memory, has a program written by the manufacturer only once; later, it can be rewritten again if needed.

firnware stored in flash ROM

A computer device needs a ROM to understand our input because the data is stored permanently in it. The information is stored only when the device does not get power or when the device turns off. If there was no ROM, then the firmware could not be stored, and the device would not be able to do its job. Like other software, an updated version of the firmware is also designed to give even better performance than before.

Why and How Should Firmware Update?

In recent times, we can update any software, and the firmware is also software, so it can also be updated. But this was not possible before 2013. Earlier, the firmware program came loaded with hardware only once. But since the hackers hacked the firmware due to some bug, the firmware update has started coming. The firmware is already attached to a product. When it goes missing functions or the company that makes the product feels that the device is not working correctly or there is a problem or error, then the company updates the firmware. Many electronic companies keep updating the firmware based on the technology of the product compatible with the hardware so that these updated devices are upgraded with new and advanced operations instructions.

What is the need of Firmware Update?

Firmware updates are released to improve hardware performance or to add new features. By updating the firmware, it plays a vital role in increasing the functionality of your device. Once updated, that device works like a new device as well as improves its performance even more.

How to Update Firmware?

To update the firmware, you can download the updated version directly from the manufacturer’s website of the product, or you can also update it using its CD and DVD. Updating the device’s firmware is not a difficult task; just whenever your system is ready to be updated, it will inform you to update the firmware. After that, now you can download and install the software and update it from the company’s website and run it. Then the system has to be shut down and restarted. So in this way, the firmware of your system will be updated.

Things Need To Know Before Updating Firmware?

Before updating the firmware software, you have to keep in mind that your device should not be turned off while you are updating the firmware. This puts your device at risk of malfunctioning. Another thing to keep in mind here is that only those updated software you can trust are sent directly by manufacturers or software companies. One should never rely on third-party sources to update any software as it may cause a virus attack in your system.

things need to know before update firmware

Equally important is to avoid making incorrect computer updates on the system. Before updating the firmware of a device to another device, it may not work as before, and that update may corrupt your firmware which can severely damage the working of the device. Before updating the firmware, see if the model number of your hardware matches that firmware software. Only then download that software.

Conclusion

So hopefully, you will know from this article what the firmware is? And where does it live in-store? Also, why is it essential to keep updating it from time to time? All these things must have been understood. After reading this article, if ever someone asks you the question, what is the firmware? Then you will be able to answer it quickly. If there is any problem related to this article, you can tell in the comment box below to remove your problem as soon as possible. If you have liked our article, then share it as much as possible so that this information can reach other people as well. Keep Visiting Meowdroid!

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