firm ware

firmware

[furm-wair]
noun Computers.
a microprogram stored in ROM, designed to implement a function that had previously been provided in software.

Origin:
1965–70; firm1 + (soft)ware

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
firmware (ˈfɜːmˌwɛə)
 
n
computing a fixed form of software programmed into a read-only memory

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

firmware
1968, from firm (adj.) + ending from software.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

firmware

/ferm'weir/ n. Embedded software contained in EPROM or flash memory. It isn't quite hardware, but at least doesn't have to be loaded from a disk like regular software. Hacker usage differs from straight techspeak in that hackers don't normally apply it to stuff that you can't possibly get at, such as the program that runs a pocket calculator. Instead, it implies that the firmware could be changed, even if doing so would mean opening a box and plugging in a new chip. A computer's BIOS is the classic example, although nowadays there is firmware in disk controllers, modems, video cards and even CD-ROM drives.
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