Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


(computer science)
A computer program or instruction, such as a microprogram, used so often that it is stored in a read-only memory instead of being included in software; often used in computers that monitor production processes.


Software stored in read-only memory (ROM) or programmable ROM (PROM). Easier to change than hardware but harder than software stored on disk. Firmware is often responsible for the behaviour of a system when it is first switched on. A typical example would be a "monitor" program in a microcomputer which loads the full operating system from disk or from a network and then passes control to it.


(FIRM softWARE) Software instructions residing in non-volatile storage that holds its content without power. Firmware is found on computer motherboards to hold hardware settings and boot data (see BIOS) and on myriad consumer electronics devices to hold the operating system.

Not So Firm Today
Today's firmware chips are mostly flash memory, which can be easily updated, especially in consumer electronics products (see firmware update and flash memory). Although still used, the first firmware chips (ROMs, PROMs and EPROMs) could not be updated by the user. Changes in the software required replacing the chip, hence the "firm" moniker (see ROM, PROM and EPROM).

Instructions Are Firmware
Firmware holds software instructions. On devices such as smartphones and tablets, flash memory chips hold the data as well; however, user data are not considered firmware because they are not maintained and updated by the vendor. See non-volatile memory, flash BIOS, FOTA and wares.

The Beauty of Firmware
Firmware is easily updated and very automatic with most products. This message is from a firmware update for the QNAP server, a NAS device for network storage. See NAS and firmware update.
References in periodicals archive ?
Figure 3 shows that most of the devices are reporting that they are now running the updated firmware, but not 100 percent.
The company recommends users install the firmware update and toolbox and run the Trim function daily to ensure best performance.
This new service makes it possible to update the firmware of a Panasonic lens on an Olympus camera or vice versa.
These devices are made of thousands of components manufactured by different manufacturers, many of which will be running machine level firmware; this is where an effective and potentially devastating infection could occur.
(NASDAQ:PTEC) is the global market leader in system firmware that provides the most secure foundation for today's computing environments.
"With the new Scalar 100 firmware option, the library itself has become smart enough to keep track of drive and media versions and to make sure that compatibility is always maintained, no matter which versions of backup or archiving software are being used.
An OEM wishing to provide the greatest investment protection for their customers should, again, look for a vendor whose mezzanine cards can be updated with only a firmware upgrade rather than a physical replacement of the card.
This cryptographic kernel firmware securely compresses and encrypts messages with Triple DES (Data Encryption Standards).
The Y2K problem results from a major design flaw located in hardware, firmware (chip-based software), software or all three.
To achieve that immunity level, Van Dorn says it has addressed both noise protection in the "firmware" - i.e., software that is specific to microprocessor modules within the control - and grounding and shielding of the communication lines.
Firmware files have confirmed that the Mi Mix 2S does exist and it has also given fans some information on the handset's specs.
The 17-page report illustrates firmware vulnerabilities including hidden backdoor accounts, private security keys and 3rd party library vulnerabilities.