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Firmware

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Definition: Firmware is software that is embedded in a piece of hardware.

You can think of firmware simply as "software for hardware." Devices that you might think of as strictly hardware such as optical drives, a network card, a router, or a scanner all have software that is programmed into special memory contained in the hardware itself.

Manufacturers of CD and DVD drives often release regular firmware updates to keep their hardware compatible with new media. Network router manufacturers often release updates to firmware on their devices to improve performance or add additional features.

Visit your hardware manufacturer's support website for more information on firmware updates.

Examples:
"I bought a 100-pack of empty DVD discs and tried to burn a video to a few of them but it would not work. I contacted my DVD drive manufacturer and they suggested that I update the firmware on the DVD drive. The updated firmware had a new set of computer code for my drive instructing it how to write to the particular brand of DVD disc I was using!"
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