under firmware (L.G.) one understands software, those into different electronic devices such as Festplattenrekorder, DVD burner, DVD Player, newer television sets, household appliances, digital cameras, computer etc. in a chip embedded actual contrary to software, those on non removable disks, CD-ROM or other media is stored. The firmware is today mostly in a Flash memory or an EEPROM stored.

Here one does not have to differentiate between devices, which are monolithic from view of the user, thus of several components to consist, which (about mobile phone, pocket calculator can be acquired individually,DVD Player, television sets, etc.), and modular systems such as PC. First have i. D. R. exactly a firmware, which is also not in all cases of user exchangeable. With modular systems it is not uncommon that the individual modules contain their own firmware in each case. Like that is z. B. with some diagram maps, non removable disks, many optical drive assemblies and almost all Main boards the firmware exchangeably, in very many cases of the user. (Reference: In principle also a DVD Player is modular composed of DVD ROM drive assembly and a Main board. With some devices can also the firmware forthe DVD drive assembly to be updated.)

firmware takes a central position between software and hardware as software in the hardware . It is nearly always model specific, D. h. it does not function on other equipment models; it is provided by the manufacturing firm. Without firmware the appropriate devices are not functional.

The firmware contains mostly elementary functions for control of the equipment, to expenditure input and output, occasionally also more extensive functions for work with memory, CCU and other components. With computers it serves mainly for it, after switching on the first part on of the actual operating system of a non removable disk to load into main storage; afterwards control of the firmware is transferred to the operating system part just loaded, which accomplishes then the further starting procedure.

actualization of the firmware

with today's devices is it often possible, the firmware of equipment by an update tooupdate. So-called programmable of Rome or EEPROM can be deleted over special procedures and again described. One calls this procedure bottles. The reprogramming of a Flash memory makes the elimination of errors as well as the installation possible of new functions. The overwriting with the normal enterprise is possible only if that partthe Flash memory, which is again to be described, not of the firmware used is.

If the firmware update fails for example by an interruption of the current supply during the letter, then it is possible that the equipment becomes useless thereby: if the elementary functions for actualization thatFirmware to be deleted and successfully not renewed, can be only up-played a functional firmware by an external programming with an appropriate programming device. Some devices do not possess therefore overwritable firmware UPDATE functions, which are still functional also with a missed update. CD and DVD (burner) drive assemblies can oftenstill under MS-DOS to be again geflasht, if with the today usual Flashprogrammen running under Windows somewhat inclined and the drive assembly did not go to any more therefore under Windows is not recognized.

In former times firmware was typically in a ROM stored, which with an update of the firmware the exchangethe complete ROM module made necessary.

In rare cases the firmware is stored, but during the boat procedure or when putting the equipment into a RAM - component, which is in the equipment, is written not in the equipment durably. An update is here usually extremely simply, therethe firmware is simply as file in the local file system of the computer put down, and through overwrite to the file to be updated can. This variant is in particular with WLAN maps (PCI or PCMCIA), to find as well as WLAN adapters (USB) frequently. Further also with USB ADSL - modems.

An example of a firmware is the BIOS of the PCs or the open firmware, of CHRP - and/or. Apple - computers or SUN - machines. Besides almost all modern embedded systems ( Embedded of system) contain like digital cameras, ADSL - modems or also mobile telephones a firmware.

The reason for the increasingSpreading of firmware is simple: This can be exchanged also after production of the equipment at will, which makes it possible to later correct errors without hardware to exchange, which makes expensive recall actions often redundant.


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)