Pine64 Hardware and FSF RYF Certification
This is getting off-topic, but firmware changes to gear <i>ratio</i> do not imply that the firmware is changing the physical teeth on a gear, but rather gear <i>selection</i> See e.g. here:
I did not mean to sound contradictory there.
But rather giving my opinion,
    I see the firmware kind of like the differential in an automobile,  and the software as the transmission.
It is a mechanical job to change the ratio in the differential,  very seldom done on most consumer vehicles.
while your transmission may change gear ratios hundreds of times, even in a short trip.
  While you can sometimes get the results you want by say changing the differential gears to run a better time at the dragstrip,
 But,  the car then becomes unpractical to drive on the highway or to work everyday.
Changing the firmware 'may' change how your hardware interacts with your software.  OF Course this is not always a bad thing,
But something to consider,  
   as you may end up needing to re-tune your software after changing the firmware.
IF this is your 'cup of tea'  go for it.
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
I like open source, firmware too, because I like to see it. I want to look at the chip diagrams, see the fuction of the blobs, and write code that I understand all the way down to the transistor. I just want it.

And, incidentally, most modern CVT transmissions do not have gears. They are friction cones moved against one another to produce a gear ratio, which is indeed controlled by software. In fact, most modern cars only seem to shift "gears" because marketing suggested people enjoy the sensation. From a hardware perspective a modern cvt transmission is quite capable of adjusting its ratio to the engines powerband without any noticeable shift at all, it would simply slide through every ratio in a single smooth manner.

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