Firmware and Middleware

Topics: Computer, Read-only memory, Middleware Pages: 4 (1084 words) Published: March 30, 2011

Firmware and Middleware

Fariz Anwardeen-3297

CS 3370

Date: 21/02/2011


Firmware is a combination of software and hardware. Firmware is usually defined as a type of program that runs within an electronic device. They enable the hardware to function properly and allow software to run on the hardware. Typical examples of devices containing firmware range from end-user products such as remote controls or calculators. Computer chips that have data or programs recorded on them are firmware. These chips commonly include the i)ROMs (read-only memory)

ii) PROMs (programmable read-only memory)
iii)EPROMs (erasable programmable read-only memory)
Firmware in PROM or EPROM is designed to be updated if necessary through a software update. Firmware is not categorized either as hardware or software, but a mix of both. The reason firmware is considered a combination of both categories is that firmware employs an executable program (.exe) and includes an integrated piece of the electronic device. Firmware is stored on ROM chips (read only memory). Each time your computer or electronic device boots up, firmware is booted as well. Firmware can store their instructions permanently and do not require a power source. One of the most common types of firmware is the BIOS chip on your computer's motherboard. The BIOS chip holds extremely important data (instructions). For instance, when our computer is started, this activates the BIOS chip where important hardware is initialized and components are checked by the BIOS chip to ensure that devices are working properly. Once the BIOS chip has completed its duties, it sends a message to your computer's operating system which then starts up. While firmware is permanent, it has the advantage of being rewritten. It should be noted that older firmware did not have the ability to rewrite its instructions. In fact, in the...
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