firmware : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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firmware
Software is notoriously fragile. Just a tiny slip and it is lost. Some programs are so important that they are burned into the equipment in a way that makes them hard to lose. For example the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) on your motherboard and the program that controls your router will live in firmware. It will not be lost, even if the power goes off. Firmware can still be modified by special procedures, usually they never change.

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