Firewire to Get Speed Boost to Overtake USB in Serial Bus Battle


Forget about sliced bread; USB might be the single greatest invention ever. Just don't tell the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( now just called IEEE ), who recently approved a new 1394-2008 specification that supports bumping the bandwidth up to 3.2 Gb/s.

"The new standard includes all of the amendments, enhancements, and more than 100 errata which have been added to the base standard over the last 12 years," said Les Baxter, chair of the working group which developed the standard. "This update provides developers with a single document they can rely upon for al of their application needs."

Firewire has fallen in recent years from the high speed interface of choice, particularly for DV transfers, to one that is now used mainly in professional environments. But that could change with the new spec, which introduces support for S1600 (1.6 Gb/s) and S3200 (3.2 Gb/s) while also being backwards compatible with current S400 and S800 ports. And the IEEE isn't finished, as looking ahead it's expected that Firewire will scale to 6.4 Gb/s.

For its part, USB isn't remaining idle and will receive an upgrade to 4.8 Gb/s in version 3.0, though exactly when still remains unknown .

Image Credit: Flickr tony.targonskj

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