And Microsoft recommends you keep your Xbox One controller’s firmware updated to ensure it works properly with the games you play.
Even your USB mouse has firmware that handles interpreting the physical mouse input, communicating with your computer, and powering any lights that may be on your mouse.
For some simple devices, the “firmware” can refer to the device’s entire operating system.
This can prevent certain Spectre attacks by changing the way the CPU functions.
Microcode updates can also fix bugs and other errors, without requiring complete replacement of CPU hardware.
For example, your solid-state drive’s manufacturer may offer a newer version of the firmware that improves reliability or performance.
Your graphics card manufacturer may offer a new video BIOS that fixes a bug.
Whether you should update a device’s firmware depends on the device and what the manufacturer recommends.
In many cases, you will never need to update a hardware device’s firmware.
Microcode translates the instructions the CPU receives into the physical, circuit-level operations that happen inside the CPU.
In other words, an updated microcode can send different instructions to the circuits inside the CPU.
In the case of a PC, your motherboard, CPU, graphics processor, hard drive, mouse, and other devices all have their own firmware.