firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts

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I want to understand more on firmware, embedded software,
and embedded systems. My understanding is that firmware
has programming instructions burned in a chip, which is a ROM?
And once we burns it, the information is read only.
For example, the chip inside smart card is a firmware??

Embedded software consists of more than one firmware??

Embedded system is a computer system in large hardware devices, and
it consists of embedded software? For example, microwave,
network devices, etc?

I tried to find more information on the web, but couldn't find clear
explainations on the basic concepts and differences among
firmware, embedded software, embedded system.

please advise. thanks!!

Re: firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts
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There is no such thing as firmware - that's just a stupid made up name.
There is software and it can reside in memory, on a disk, in a chip, in
object form, in source code form, whatever, but it is SOFTWARE.  The fact
that its earthly form was translated from english like statements on paper
to ones and zeros in an electronic device doesn't change what you call it -
software.

'Embedded' software is just a general term for software that lives in your
toaster instead of your desktop or mainframe computer.



Re: firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts

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Firmware is software that is deployed in a way that is sufficiently
different from software deployed on general-purpose computers to
justify the special name.  I don't think it is stupid.  It emphasizes
important differences.  The name itself implies that firmware is "more
firm" than software.  That is, it is harder to change.  It is usually
run from some sort of non-volatile memory.  This would also apply to
flash or EPROM BIOS in a desktop computer, but I'm not sure I would
call that firmware.  Certainly the program in a microwave oven or
coffee maker would be called firmware.  However, the control program
of a communications adapter that runs out of RAM and is downloaded
over the communication channel might not be called firmware, but just
software.
-Robert Scott
 Ypsilanti, Michigan
(Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply
address is fake.)

Re: firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts


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Rediculous. FPGAs contain firmware which describe circuitry. Nothing like
software. Besides, even software that gets put into Flash or ROM is no
where as easy to change as software. Think of the code in you digital
watch, you think that's just software like you have on your PC or slightly
more dedicated and difficult to change?

--
- Mark ->
--

Re: firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts
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This is a typical implementation.  Generally, firmware is software
stored in a relatively stable, non-volatile medium, such as ROM or
flash memory.

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Firmware refers to the code (either source or object), not the
hardware, such as a chip.

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For most applications, they would be the same.  If an embedded
application used a disk to store the code, I wouldn't call the code
firmware.

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An "embedded system" or system containing an embedded processor, to be
more precise, is a complete standalone unit which contains a processor
and is dedicated to a specific task.  The system needn't be large.
The system doesn't consist of embedded software, but the processor
would run embedded software.

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Yes.

Thad

Re: firmware, embedded software, embedded system concepts
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Matt) writes:

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Get a Linksys WRT54G (69 EUR) and start hacking it. Look at the
www.openwrt.org project to see what is in the image. Crack the box
open to look at the hardware (lookup chip specs on the web), and
figure out how things are connected.

Within a week you will know more about embedded systems than any
textbook will teach you :-)

 S.

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