Will USB 2.0 douse FireWire?

Like an unloved house plant, IEEE 1394 -- the high-speed peripheral serial bus also known as FireWire -- appears to be dying on the vine as Intel nourishes instead Universal Serial Bus (USB) as the best low-cost solution for attaching peripherals to PCs.

In October, at Intel's USB developer conference in San Diego, the chip giant is expected to release the final specification for USB 2.0 which will, it now appears, have an equivalent performance to IEEE 1394. USB is expected to perform in the 360- to 480Mbps range (or up to 60MB per second), while current shipping versions of IEEE 1394 perform at 400Mbps.

"[IEEE] 1394 deployment into the PC platform has proceeded more slowly than expected," said an Intel document on the company's Web site.

One key factor in the "slower than expected" deployment of IEEE 1394 may be that the bus is not supported by Intel in its own core logic chips. According to Jason Ziller, platform marketing manager for Intel, the company has no plans at this time to support 1394 in the chip set.

The Intel Web site also cited "uncertainties about cost and licensing" for lack of IEEE 1394 adoption. The licensing and cost issues revolve around Apple. As the owner of the IEEE 1394 patent, Apple must be paid a licensing fee for use of the 1394 bus, according to one peripheral manufacturer who asked not to be identified.

Last year Intel cited video conferencing systems, high resolution scanners, and printers and auxiliary data storage as devices that would benefit from the IEEE 1394 bus, but this year the company is citing the same peripherals for use with USB 2.0.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?