If you own a smartphone, (whether a Galaxy Pop or Fit or Ace or R or S Advance, S2, Note, S3 or any iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia Belle, Nokia Anna, HTC One Series, Sony Xperia Series or Windows Phone or any other Phone for that matter) or if your friend owns one, chances are high that you have heard about the term Firmware and Firmware Upgrade. Have you ever wondered what exactly this Firmware is? Or Why it might be useful for you to to understand it?
This post will give you a brief idea about Firmware, what it is and why should you care about it.
Firmware is the data that is stored in a device's ROM (Read Only Memory) area. Data contained within the ROM cannot be modified so it's only used to carry data that doesn't need to be modified. The instructions carried on the ROM encompass the firmware, which provides an identity to the device and work closely with its associated hardware. ROM being non-volatile, firmware is ever-present data - it won't be lost even if the device is switched off or restarted, hence the term 'firm'. Of course, it does much more than that. Firmware coordinates the various operations happening within the device ( which is why the Mobile OS can be called a firmware).
There are 3 types of these when it comes to Mobile Devices:
- Stock Firmware
- Manufacturer Brand Firmware
- Custom Firmware/ROM
Custom Firmware replaces the stock firmware, and while it may be Android, it provides an entirely new feel and usually, an upgraded set of features.
To know about Flashing, wait for the next article - What is Flashing?