FireWire making gains in consumer products

FireWire Depot isn't just an esoteric data interface for computers, according to market research firm In-Stat/MDR. The company today reported that FireWire is making broad gains in consumer markets worldwide. In fact, FireWire-equipped consumer products overtook PC-based products in 2001 according to the report.

Solid growth in FireWire-based products is predicted at 21 percent this year. The high-speed digital interface is already a popular addition on digital camcorders and will see more exposure as it expands to other consumer electronic markets and the automotive industry, said In-Stat/MDR.

Major inhibitors to further FireWire adoption include regulatory and legislative involvement, the current slowdown in the tech market, the advent of USB 2.0 and a lack of practical applications beyond digital video editing, said the report. Regardless, "the breadth of applications for 1394 ultimately points to a huge opportunity," they said.

The total market for FireWire-equipped devices grew by 33 percent in 2001, to more than 46 million units, according to the report. PC manufacturers are including the technology in laptop PCs "at a significant pace" that's expected to increase over the next several years.

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