Computer Hardware, Software and Firmware

Computer Hardware: –

The Physical components or devices that are connected to a computer are collectively known as hardware; a physical device may be electronic, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical or an optical device. Examples are: a microprocessor and other IC’s hard disk, printer, CD-ROM, keyboards, RAM, SMPS, etc.

Hardware is the jargon term to the machinery itself and to the various individual’s pieces of equipment, however, you can do nothing useful with the computer hardware on its own. It has to drive by certain utilities’ programs, called software which is input and stored permanently in the computer System.

In Other Words , Hardware involves equipment which can perform the following functions:-

  1. Data preparation(e.g: card punch)
  2. Input to computer(e.g: card reader)
  3. Processing(e.g:CPU)
  4. Secondary storage(e.g: disk, tape),and
  5. Output from computer(e.g: Printer)


Its acts as interfaces between computer and Peripherals and optimizes the utilization of recourse’s’. It also acts as mediators between user and computer. It converts the English like languages to (0’s and 1’s) and fed to the computer for necessary Processing .

The Processed data which is in the form of machine languages converts back to English like languages for user understanding. Literally it is difficult to work with the pc effectively without Operating Systems. Examples: Windows XP, Linux, HP-UX, MS-DOS etc.

APPLICATION SOFTWARE: – A Set of Programs developed to perform a specific task. Examples: Microsoft Word –this is an application software used to prepare letters with features like formatting the data, Dictionary etc.

FIRMWARE:-The programs stored in ROM’S, PROM ‘S, EPROM’S, EEPROM’S OR Falsh memories are known as firmware. Today large number of prewritten Programs are available to solve specific types of problems.



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