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'What's Firmware? [OT]'
1999\01\12@094605 by lilel

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Scott sez:
> I have a serious question that I have been kinda embarrassed to ask,
> but what the hell, here goes... What the heck is "firmware"????

ANSWER A:   Software that was left out on a hot day for a little too
long.... or Software that has not been beta tested long enough to
become hard  <G>


ANSWER B:  software that is programmed into a microcontroller (like a
PIC), but then can be reprogrammed to adapt to changing conditions
either by UV erasure, by using FLASH or EEPROM memory etc.  Your PC
Bios is probably firmware, as is the programming in your PICSTART
PLUS programmer if you have one.  Sorry about the sarcastic answer A.
<G>


-- Lawrence Lile

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting
=> Brownout tester plans
=> Amateurish pictures of my family

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1999\01\12@120309 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 08:44 01/12/99 +0000, Lawrence Lile wrote:
> Scott sez:
>> I have a serious question that I have been kinda embarrassed to ask,
>> but what the hell, here goes... What the heck is "firmware"????
>
>ANSWER B:  software that is programmed into a microcontroller (like a
>PIC), but then can be reprogrammed to adapt to changing conditions
>either by UV erasure, by using FLASH or EEPROM memory etc.

i wouldn't consider re-programmability as part of the definition.
especially programs in OTP memory or mask ROM are usually considered
firmware. i would even go so far as to suspect that the introduction of
that term was at first triggered by the fact that software was kinda
terminally put into hardware in mask ROMs, =without= the typical software
feature of reprogrammability, thus creating a category which was originally
similar to software, but ending up as something more similar to hardware.

ge

1999\01\12@163711 by Scott Shidel...

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On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, Lawrence Lile wrote:
> > but what the hell, here goes... What the heck is "firmware"????
>
> ANSWER A:   Software that was left out on a hot day for a little too
> long.... or Software that has not been beta tested long enough to
> become hard  <G>
>
> PLUS programmer if you have one.  Sorry about the sarcastic answer A.

hehe, thats cool, but I thought it would be hardware left in the sun too
long, since heat will usually soften most materials:)

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1999\01\13@152302 by uter van ooijen / floortje hanneman

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In my current work (space & defence) I found that putting
the label FIRMWARE on something often provides
a convenient escape (both for us and for our client)
from the rigid requirements on software design,
production, verification etc. I've never found a good
definition (which holds all current technology) which
separates firmware from software. One indication is
often the amount of change possible and/or anticipated.
If anyone thinks he has a good definition try to apply it
to the following cases:
- the VHDL design of a pentium II
- the VHDL design of an address line decoder
- a COBOL payroll application
- the firmware/software for a point-of-sale machine

regards,
Wouter.

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