Difference between Operating System (OS) and Firmware

Written by: IDIKA DESTINY EMEKA

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Published 2 Years Ago On Sunday, January 9, 2022
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What is Firmware?

Firmware is the type of code that is embedded in a hardware component. its primary function is to guide the hardware device on how to perform its task. The firmware is used in video cards, cameras, ovens, fridges, and other devices. These embedded codes help these devices to function whenever users give instructions. Hence, firmware can be used in both computer and electronic devices. Firmware contains low-level programming codes writting purely with Programming langauges like C, C++ and Assembly Language etc, and it can execute only basic tasks. Firmware can only control the particular hardware component which it was programmed for. This means that every hardware component have their own unique fireware.

What is Operating System?

The operating system or OS is the primary layer within the computer device. And it connects or works as the interface between the hardware components and the computing devices. So, all can function together to provide the desired result to the user. It has control of all the hardware and software components that exist in the computing or computer device. OS helps to boot the computer and plays a significant role when the user interacts with the computer. In short, the operating system also helps the user to access the computer and its function without knowing any machine languages.
Examples of operating systems are Windows, iOS, Mac, and Linux. The OS can be installed in the storage device of the computing machine. Nowadays, most devices need to have an OS so the user can use that device. From taking the print to doing office work, all are done using the operating system. It creates an environment where the user can work conveniently without knowing any machine programming languages.

Difference between Operating System and Firmware 

  1. Firmware is mainly stored in the ROM; While the OS is stored in the computer’s storage device (either Harddrive or SSD).
  2. The operating systems are not fixed by their codes, and from time to time, they get updated. Whereas the firmware is the fixed code and mostly does not get updated.
  3. If we talk about the size, then the firmware has small programming codes which makes it to be very small in size. But on the other hand, operating systems contain a vast number of programming codes which makes it be very large in size.
  4. The OS is suitable to execute high-level tasks from the device. whereas The firmware is suitable for executing low-level task within the device.
  5. The firmware is also a single-purpose code designed for a particular hardware. Although, the OS is a multi-purpose code designed to perform dynamic tasks.
  6. Examples of devices that contain firmware are routers, ovens, video cards, keyboards, washing machines, fridges, etc. While Examples of  devices that contain Operating System are Apple iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, and Ubuntu.



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