Points to remember 1 the term hardware refers to the

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Unformatted text preview: r manufacturers on read-only memory (ROM) chips. These ROM chips can be easily plugged into the computer system and they form a part of the hardware. Such programs (software) made available on hardware are known as firmware. Firmware often refers to a sequence of instructions (software) that is substituted for hardware. For example, when cost is more important than performance speed, the computer system architect might decide not to use special electronic circuits (hardware) to multiply two numbers, but instead write instructions (software) to cause the machine to accomplish the same function by repeated use of circuits already designed to perform addition. This software will be stored in a ROM chip of the computer system and will be executed (used) whenever the computer has to multiply two numbers. Hence, this software will be known as firmware. To be precise, firmware is software substituted for hardware and stored in read-only memory. Initially, only systems software was supplied in the form of firmware. But today, even application programs are being supplied in firmware form. Dedicated applications are also programmed in this fashion and available in firmware. Because of the rapid improvements in memory technology, firmware is frequently a cost-effective alternative to wired electronic circuits, and its use in computer design has been gradually increasing. In fact, the increased use of firmware has today made it possible to produce smart machines of all types. These machines have microprocessor chips with embedded software. Points to Remember 1. The term hardware refers to the physical devices of a computer system. Thus, the input, storage, processing, control, and output devices are hardware. 2. The term software refers to a collection of programs. A program is a sequence of instructions written in a language that can be understood by a computer. It is the program that controls the activity of processing by the computer and the computer performs precisely what the program wants it to do. 3. A software package is a group of programs that solve a specific problem or perform a specific type of job. 4. The hardware and softwar...
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