What exactly is firmware, and why is it so important?

During a recent presentation, I discussed the necessity of software and firmware updates.  After the presentation, one of the participants  asked, “what is firmware?”

That made me realize that sometimes the terms we use in our industry may need more definition and clarification.  Knowing the differences between software and firmware is important in this industry.  Technology is ever changing and to keep these building construction equipment performing flawlessly, equipment owners need to know when to update and why the update is needed to the software and or firmware.  As with most high technology, it is easier to understand if we can relate it to our everyday lives.  This article from Crutchfield, the car stereo manufacturers, does a great job of explaining software and firmware.

Even though building construction is a completely different industry, we are all using tools that require regular updates.   Will be equipment run without these updates? Probably, but not as efficiently or effectively as it would if product updates or bug fixes were not updated.

Firmware updates can be thought of as vehicle oil changes.  Make firmware updates part of a regular maintenance plan to keep things running optimally.

Scott Mayer, Building Construction Specialist


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