In computing, firmware is a small piece of software that makes hardware work and do what its manufacturer intended it to do. It consists of programs written by software developers to make hardware devices “dial.”
The term firmware comes from the union of the English words FIRM which means firm and software WARE. In other words firmware means “firm, fixed or solid software.”
Without firmware, most of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis would not be able to function. They wouldn’t do anything. For less sophisticated hardware devices, such as traffic lights, washing machines, card machines, surveillance cameras, televisions, computer peripherals, etc., the firmware is all the software on them, and also acts as an operating system, which controls all device operation. For example, in a traffic light, the firmware is what tells it to change the lights at regular intervals.
Firmware memory devices are permanently installed and cannot be changed after manufacture.
Firmware is just a special type of software that has a very limited purpose for a piece of hardware. While you might install and uninstall software on your computer or smartphone on a regular basis, you may rarely, if ever, update the firmware on a device and probably only do so if the manufacturer asks you to, probably to repair a problem.