Networking

New FireWire specification to boast transmission speeds to 3.2 Gbps

A new version of IEEE 1394 has been approved by the IEEE. Called S3200, it builds on the earlier specification and will quadruple top speeds to a blistering 3.2 Gbps over distances of up to 100 meters. The technology is called FireWire by Apple and i.LINK by Sony.
A new version of IEEE 1394 has been approved by the IEEE. Called S3200, it builds on the earlier specification and will quadruple top speeds to a blistering 3.2 Gbps over distances of up to 100 meters. The technology is called FireWire by Apple and i.LINK by Sony. Further details will be unveiled this week, although it is understood that S3200 will be able to use existing FireWire 800 cables and connectors to deliver the boost in performance.

Says 1394 Trade Association spokesman Richard Davis in an e-mail with InformationWeek:

"It will probably go into storage products first. It should turn up in set-top boxes and maybe Blue-ray devices, too. It's too soon to tell how fast [consumer electronics] makers might adopt it."

Also:

The new spec also will let users interconnect various home-networking appliances via coax cable, "linking HDTVs with set-top boxes, TVs, and computers in various rooms around a home or office," Davies said.

James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association, sums it up with, "The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multi-purpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices." S3200 will likely be compared to USB 3.0, which is still under development. USB 3.0 is expected to have 10 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0, or approximately 5 Gbps.

Which specification do you think will be the ubiquitous peripheral standard of the future? Will it be S3200, USB 3.0, or maybe even an enhanced version of eSATA, which currently maxes out at 3 Gbps?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

4 comments
paulmah
paulmah

Which specification do you reckon will be the ubiquitous peripheral standard of the future? Will it be S3200, USB 3.0, or maybe even an enhanced version of eSATA, which currently maxes out at 3 Gbps?

AllGeek2Me
AllGeek2Me

I've never had the chance to use Firewire myself and have only come across a few that have. I alwasys hear rave reviews, but usb and CAT5 seem to be what I use and what is being used by most others. Hooray for IEEE for increasing speed and all that, but now how about some real world devices that actually use FW so the rest of us can utilize it. Oh look, that file tranfer is over, in just the time I needed to write this note. Hmm...

tallensr
tallensr

Because of its ability to easily Daisy Chain devices with no loss in performance, I still think FW is better than USB in high-performance usage situations like Hard Drive and Video applications. If this new spec allows FW800 to be upgraded to S3200 with some sort of firmware upgrade on existing systems, that will be INCREDIBLE!

cjc5447
cjc5447

I assume S3200 will be backward compatible. However current Firewire 800 devices cannot be upgraded to a faster standard as S3200 will require new silicon. Same thing for USB 1.1, 2.0, 3.0. A new standard requires new silicon.