Sunday, July 31, 2005

New Longer Distance Version of FireWire (800 Mbps at 100m) Gains Traction

Leading motherboard and computer makers are adopting the high-bandwidth, long-distance version of the 1394b (FireWire), according to the 1394 Trade Association, and shipment volumes of 1394b devices will reach at least 5 million within 18 months.

The 'b' version of the FireWire standard operates at up to 800 Mbps and enables product connectivity at distances up to 100 meters without repeaters. Products using the 1394b audio-video connection can operate with legacy systems that use the original FireWire version, 1394a, including notebook computers, desktops, storage devices and a complete range of consumer electronics, including HDTVs and set top boxes. The FireWire standard will soon enable 1.6 Gbps data transfers and, over the intermediate term, will reach 3.2 Gbps capabilities.

"1394b is now being designed into high-end motherboards and computers to deliver top speed and bandwidth for a new generation of computing products," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association.

Also, Texas Instruments and Unibrain of Athens, a supplier of FireWire development software and hardware, announced they are providing a turnkey 1394b development kit for use in a variety of peripheral and motherboard applications. TI has licensed Unibrain's ubCore version 4.0 FireWire driver suite, and will bundle it with TI's 1394b devices.


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