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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.

Easy to Tell
FireWire sockets were easily distinguished from their USB counterparts.

Dual Mode FW/USB
This external hard drive connected to the computer via FireWire or USB, whichever cable was plugged in.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Featuring an integrated FireWire800 core, ARM microprocessor and ATA interface, the new Initio INIC-2430 was designed to deliver all the necessary FireWire800 I/O components in a single chip.
Storage solutions based on the INIC-2430 realize full FireWire800 and ATA-7 speeds (800MB/s and 133MB/s, respectively), as well as dual-channel RAID 0,1 support, which is critical for A/V applications.
"Initio's partners have recognized the significance FireWire800 and ATA-7 technology--and their inherent performance features--will play in next-generation storage systems," said Eric Wilson, vice president of business development at Initio.
Apple's newest MacBook Pro highlights 1394b popularity and Firewire800 superior performance in its speed, and bandwidth, according to the 1394 Trade Association on Wednesday.
Featuring an integrated FireWire800 core, ARM micro processor and ATA interface, the Initio[R] INIC[TM]-2430 was designed to deliver all the necessary FireWire800 I/O components in a single chip.