Computer programming is also known as software program or sometimes it is simply called ‘program’. Whatever name it’s called, its purpose is to provide instructions to a computer machine. If there is one thing that a computer needs to be able to function (aside from electricity, of course!), it would be computer programs. The executor of the instructions is the central processor.
Computer programming is categorized into two functional lines which are the application and system software. And when it comes to working on these matters, the experts are the so-called computer programmers or software developers.
But where there is software, there should also exist the hardware. Generally speaking, hardware devices are any physical things that are being used in computer manipulation. Examples are circuit boards, keyboards and processors. The development of hardware plays a major role on the advancement of computer programming.
This is because most computer programs are embedded in hardware. This means that some programs that are stored in the computer can be accessed by an initial program that is stored in its ROM for booting. The process of booting is to be able to recognize and also initialize all system features.
After the initialization process, the primary program of the computer would load the operating system which would set the program counters to initiate usual operations. Totally self-sufficient, a hardware device could have some embedded firmware in controlling its operation.
Nowadays, there are a number of hardware development tools in the market. Along with some software development kits are the hardware development tools that are designed to allow users to have control on design flow processes. There are many different types to choose from. There are development boards for hardware that are used in assisting designers for systems and software to validate designs. For example, there are tools that are used in SoC prototypes, or there are tools that combine several device features such as Flash programmer or Memory emulator.
Going back to the basics, there are numerous computer programs that would run concurrently on just one computer. This process is called multitasking. And multitasking can run on either software or hardware systems.
Operating systems that are modern are able to run several programs through the so-called process scheduling—this is software system that switches the central processing unit amongst processes. By doing this, users are able to interact with every single program while it is being run. As to hardware, modern multiprocessors or computers that are equipped with multicore processor might run several programs.
‘Heard of the term open source hardware? There is currently no real definition of this term but this is generally understood as open source software usage alongside hardware. Also, this is the free discharge of information on the hardware (release on schematics, size, design and other information). This is the latest in open source hardware information and logic design sharing is a known open source hardware form.
Designers of open hardware often meet to discuss design problems and their corresponding solutions; they also assist each other in looking for parts; they also meet to converse about recent developments in their works.
Since it is believed that the development of software is quite limited (and might even have reached its peak), the focus on progression is now on hardware development. With the many hardware development tools in the market nowadays, the world could look forward to more innovations in the not-so-distant future…or maybe even tomorrow.