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(computer science)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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Officially the IEEE 1394 High Performance Serial Bus (HPSB), FireWire is a high-speed interface developed and promoted mostly by Apple for video transmission. Introduced in 2000, FireWire was added to camcorders and a variety of A/V equipment. Even early iPods could connect via FireWire. However, on modern camcorders, FireWire was replaced with USB, HDMI and other video outputs.

FireWire 400 and 800
FireWire 400 was limited to a distance of 4.5 meters. In 2003, FireWire 800 increased the range to 100 meters and doubled the transfer rate. FireWire supported 63 devices, real-time data transfer, hot swapping and simultaneous multiple speeds. The faster 1600 and 3200 versions never got into production. See PC data buses.


  FW400     400 Mbps

  1394b - 100 METER CABLE LENGTH

  FW800     800 Mbps
  FW1600   1600 Mbps
  FW3200   3200 Mbps

FireWire Sockets and Compatibility
FW800 was backward compatible with FW400. One end of a "bilingual cable" had an FW800 plug, while the other end was FW400. Sony's i.Link was a miniaturized socket that connected to cables with i.Link, FW400 or FW800 at the other end.

FireWire 400 and 800 Sockets
The two FireWire sockets are easily identified.

Dual Mode FW/USB
This earlier external hard drive connected to the computer via FireWire or USB, whichever cable was plugged in.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The more expensive VideoWave DV Suite (about pounds 90) edits, includes a FireWire card and provides 10Mb of free space for you to air your movies on the web.
By combining both rewritable and write-once DVD capabilities with flexible FireWire and USB connectivity, LaCie's new DVD-RAM/R drive will meet the needs of consumers, businesses and content professionals for applications ranging from home movie authoring and editing to secondary data storage, image archiving, small-scale distribution, and backup.
LaCie had portable HDDs on display, for both USB and FireWire, in 10GB, 20GB and 30GB packages for $399, $499 and $799 respectively.
These may ship with 800Mbps FireWire busses for hot- swappable storage bays, in place of Ultra160SCSI, according to the MacOS Rumors web site.
Jaguar includes Rendezvous, the networking technology that replaces AppleTalk and allows users to quickly and easily link computers and devices through Ethernet, AirPort, Bluetooth, or USB and FireWire.
It doesn't have a Firewire port but uses USB 2.0, which is apparently up to 10 times faster than USB 1.1.
By utilizing the FireWire 1394 interface the StealthFire operates at speeds of 400mb/sec.
( has added a new Que!Fire CD-RW drive to its line of FireWire products.
Imation recently shipped a FireWire model for use in Macintosh environments.
Pointedly, given the recent fuss over Apple Computer Inc's 1394 FireWire high-speed serial interface, the core developer companies say they don't intend to charge royalties for essential patents.
In addition, every new MacBook Pro includes built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), a FireWire 800 and a FireWire 400 port, analog and optical digital audio input and output ports, an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot, and a DVI video output.
Packaged in a lightweight, sleek silver chassis, the Tecra M2 features a vivid 14.1-inch XGA (or SXGA+) display and NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 32MB or 64MB VRAM graphics controller (64MB VRAM option includes optional Bluetooth capabilities, 10/100/1000 Base-TX Ethernet LAN and IEEE 1394 Firewire port), offering Tecra M2 customers high-performance graphics for displaying detailed designs and high-powered presentations in the office, on the road and everywhere in between.