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Two common meanings. It can be used to describe software stored on a read only memory or ROM that initializes a CPU when first switched on, e.g., a BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). However, the term has also come to describe product specific software usually shipped by the manufacturer with a hardware component or product, especially one included or integrated into more complex systems that serves to make that specific item of hardware operate and interact with the larger system. In this usage, (device) driver (software) is firmware.