Firmware is the software built into devices that provides fundamental control over hardware. As the performance of digital devices becomes higher, so does the importance of firmware. Firmware is also a relative term, as most embedded devices contain firmware at more than one level.Firmware is a software upgrade used to fix or patch programs and data structures that internally control various electronic devices like computers, game consoles and mobile phones. Firmware Development Process brings true accuracy and performance to the front end of the design cycle. Firmware development can be at the block, subsystem and system level - and it can even begin with the model of a new IP block.
Maintenance problems are a driving force behind re-engineering, but a new business strategy now challenges software organizations. Software was originally developed to support business functions within the traditional organizational structure. Thus, we are left with legacy systems that are marketing-oriented, or manufacturing-oriented, etc. Software re-engineering captures the design behind the software. In some respects, the various firmware components are as important as the operating system in a working computer. However, unlike most modern operating systems, firmware rarely has a well-evolved automatic mechanism of updating itself to fix any functionality issues detected after shipping the unit. Thus, this leads to the necessity of a firmware development process. Until the mid 1990s, updating firmware to a new version typically involved replacing a storage-medium containing firmware, usually a socketed ROM. As of 2009 firmware-upgrades have largely abandoned this approach in favor of using firmware's capability to overwrite itself in a convenient, purely electronic operation.