FireWire 800 Connectivity Speed Will Quadruple In 2008

FireWire connectivity is set to quadruple next year after the 1394 Trade Association announced a new specification for the networking interface.

The trade group announced the S3200 electrical specification for FireWire, which builds upon the existing IEEE 1394b standard by boosting the maximum speed from 800 megabits per second to 3.2Gbps. The good news for current FireWire800 consumers, and manufacturers is that the new S3200 spec can utilize the same 800 cables and connectors currently in use.

“The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multipurpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices,” the 1394 Trade Association’s executive director, James Snider, said in a statement. “There is a very clear migration path from 800Mbps to 3.2Gbps, with no need for modifications to the standard and no requirement for new cables or connectors.”

The association hopes to have the S3200 specification ratified by early February, and has used the speed boost to position FireWire as an alternative to other recent interfacing technologies. The association’s statement claimed the development of S3200 meant users would see no advantage from eSATA, a competing connectivity standard. In addition, S3200 can provide more power to devices than USB 2.0.

The association also said that FireWire would soon be able to operate over cable television coaxial cables, and said S3200 would make the standard fast enough to move uncompressed high-definition television signals over long distances at a lower cost than HDMI, the current standard for HD connections.

The increase in speed will have a significant impact on computer music, which will greatly benefit from the boosted throughput.

Author: FutureMusic

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