What is software? Program and firmware concepts

This post is lesson 3 of 42 in the subject Computer Hardware

Do you think that software and programs are no different? Actually, they have certain differences. So what’s the difference between them? The answer is right below.

1. Definition of program

A program is a set of instructions in a certain sequence that instructs the computer to work automatically. A program is written in programming languages like C/C++, Java, etc. A computer program is in a form that can be read by humans. It is called “source code”. Source code needs to be compiled or interpreted to be executed by the CPU.

Basically, a software includes programs that have been compiled or interpreted, tested, and debugged during development process. A program is not sure a software, but software is a collection of one or more completed programs.

Below is the source code of a program written in C++.

Solving simple equation
Solving simple equation

2. What is software?

Software is a set of programs and associated documentation and data (text, images, videos, etc.) to instruct a computer to work. For example, Microsoft Word, Google Chrome web browser is softwares.

Based on the intended use, software can be divided into 3 categories:

  • System software
  • Application software
  • Malware
What is software?
What is software?

3. What is firmware?

Firmware and software
Firmware and software

Firmware is a special computer program used to control electronic devices. They are usually stored in the ROM memory of hardware devices. Firmware is mainly written in assembly language or C/C++.

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Posted by Vinh Le

Composer at ITLearningCorner.

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