Firmware and software development at low level

At Narranz we develop the firmware that we apply to our electronic engineering projects. By firmware we understand computer programs or software solutions that establish the lowest level logic to control the electronic circuits of a device of any type. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) defines it as “The combination of instructions from a hardware device and instructions and computer data that reside as read-only software on that device.”

The firmware has a high level of integration with the electronic components of the system and a direct interaction with the hardware since it is responsible for controlling it so that it executes correctly the external instructions. As a simplified definition of “firmware”, it is said that it is software whose main function is to physically control the hardware.

From the moment when the term appeared, it was clear that it referred to a type of instructions different from the software. Firmware was understood as a lower level code or microcode that is a limit or border between software and hardware. A clear example of firmware would be the BIOS system or basic system of inputs and outputs that incorporate all personal computers compatible with IBM. Nowadays, we understand firmware as the programmable content of hardware devices.

The process of updating the firmware of an electronic system is a critical process that we must carry out with great care, since being a vital component for the system in case of any failure the whole team may be affected, or be damaged completely until it becomes inoperative. We must remember that in the firmware is the code that governs the equipment, it is therefore the code that allows the system to work.

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