Definition: Firmware, as the name implies, lies between software and hardware. Firmware is programming code, but it is stored on a chip or other hardware within the GPS device, and it functions only within the context of the chip/hardware in which it resides. Most better-quality GPS devices can accept downloaded firmware updates. This helps a company continually improve devices, and fix bugs that arise, even after you've purchased the device. Some GPS devices are set to automatically check for firmware updates every time you connect them to your personal computer. Others require that you seek out, select, and download firmware updates from the company's site. Check your manual for instructions specific to your unit.