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Firmware can either provide a standardized operating environment for the device's more complex software (allowing more hardware-independence), or, for less complex devices, act as the device's complete operating system, performing all control, monitoring and data manipulation functions.
Typical examples of devices containing firmware are embedded systems, consumer appliances, computers, computer peripherals, and others.
The driver can also get in-dash information while driving in this manner, such as real-time fuel economy and tire pressure readings. Examples of firmware include: or to change the provider of a service associated with the function of the device, such as changing from one mobile phone service provider to another or installing a new operating system.
If firmware is upgradable, it is often done via a program from the provider, and will often allow the old firmware to be saved before upgrading so it can be reverted to if the process fails, or if the newer version performs worse.
A television remote control is an example of an engineered product that contains firmware.
The firmware monitors the buttons, controls the LEDs, and processes the button presses to send the data in a format the receiving device, in this case, a television set, can understand and process.
An example is Rockbox as a firmware replacement for portable media players.
Most mobile phones have a Firmware Over The Air firmware upgrade capability for much the same reasons; some may even be upgraded to enhance reception or sound quality.In some respects, the various firmware components are as important as the operating system in a working computer.However, unlike most modern operating systems, firmware rarely has a well-evolved automatic mechanism of updating itself to fix any functionality issues detected after shipping the unit.Firmware such as the program of an embedded system may be the only program that will run on the system and provide all of its functions.Before the inclusion of integrated circuits, other firmware devices included a discrete semiconductor diode matrix.