IEEE 1394

IEEE 1394

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IEEE 1394 is a standard for a high-speed interface used for data transfer and real-time digital audio and video communication both over a cable and, in some cases, wirelessly. It was developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the 1990s. The standard is also known by the brand names of “FireWire” (Apple), “i.Link” (Sony), and “Lynx” (Texas Instruments).

Key features of IEEE 1394 include:

  1. High-speed data transfer: FireWire can transfer data at a rate of up to 400 Mbps in its original implementation. Later versions, such as FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b), can transfer data at up to 800 Mbps.
  2. Easy connection and use: FireWire devices can be connected and disconnected while the host is running, a feature known as hot swapping.
  3. Peer-to-peer device communication: Unlike USB, which requires a host device, FireWire devices can communicate with each other directly.
  4. Power supply: Like USB, FireWire can supply power to a device, allowing for cable-only connections for some peripherals like hard drives or cameras.

While IEEE 1394 was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially in the realm of video and audio production, its use has declined with the rise of other interfaces like USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, which offer higher transfer speeds and are more commonly included on new devices. However, FireWire is still used in some professional audio and video production environments.

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