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A Quick Look at Firmware

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Firmware is a relatively new technology term that has become standard within big companies like Hikvision. You are probably quite familiar with hardware and software but perhaps not so acquainted with firmware. Hardware is the physical parts of machinery; and software is the non-tangible data that makes it work.

Firmware, though similar to software, is a little different. This is a matrix of programming blocks that programmers write into the nonvolatile memory of a computer.  To understand firmware, then, let us also look at nonvolatile memory:  a classification of static, random access memory that has contents which are saved automatically each time a device loses power (whether through power down or accidental shut off). Thus, firmware helps your computer to better manage memory, helpfully restoring information and other materials that were upon prior to your computer restarting.

It can be written to the flash memory or to your computer’s read-only memory (ROM), or occasionally to the erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM).  Firmware that has been written to flash memory is easier to update ROM or EPROM, and that is why mobile device manufacturers generally favor flash-based memory.

Consider your computer or even your mobile phone—for example.  You probably utilize the “sleep” and “hibernate” options more often than the power down options.  Occasionally you will find these devices have turned themselves off, or perhaps you let their battery die.  In the past, computers did not have these hybrid power options, and thus had no need for an intermediary, but in today’s complex technology, this is option is vital. This is when you realize the importance of firmware.

Knowing this, it should start to become more apparent the importance of keeping your firmware up to date. Just as it is important to change out hardware every once in a while and keep updating your software, so should you update your firmware. As the world continues to become more and more dependent on mobile technology and becomes more and more connected through the internet.

Firmware updates aim to do things like fix small bugs; add new features and they can help to improve security vulnerabilities and flaws. While you might update your virus protection software on your computer, if you want to keep your mobile phone or web-connected smart devices (security cameras, thermostats, etc.), it is the firmware that you want to update.

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