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An electronic device or embedded system is said to be field-programmable or in-place programmable if its firmware (stored in non-volatile memory, such as ROM) can be modified "in the field," without disassembling the device or returning it to its manufacturer.

This is often an extremely desirable feature, as it can reduce the cost and turnaround time for replacement of buggy or obsolete firmware. For example, a digital camera vendor could distribute firmware supporting a new image file format by instructing consumers to download a new firmware image to the camera via a USB cable.