|FireWire is a
high-speed serial communication standard defined by IEEE 1394. It was
originally designated by Apple, where the name "FireWire" came from. Sometimes
it has also been referred to as iLINK (a Sony branding initiative). With a 400
Mbps bandwidth, FireWire can be used to connect high-speed devices such as
video camcorders, audio recorders, and external storage devices. The
theoretical limit for the bandwidth is 400 Mbps (or 800 Mbps with FireWire
800), although actual throughput is slightly slower. A FireWire bus is
self-powered (FireWire peripherals can derive power from the bus, eliminating
the need for a separate power cord, only 6 pin and 9 pin connectors carry the
power). The bus configures itself automatically (not requiring device IDs or
terminators); and it is hot-pluggable (one can connect and use a FireWire
peripheral via a simple modular connector without having to restart the
FireWire replaced SCSI as Apple's standard high-speed interface beginning with the blue G3 PowerMac; PCI cards and PC Cards can bring FireWire ports to PCI PowerMacs and PowerBook G3's, respectively.
FireWire Digital Video (DV) camcorders, digital still cameras, and analog-digital video converters are already available, with mass storage devices (hard drives, magneto-optical drives, high-capacity removable drives, tape drives, and CD/DVD drives) and printers mostly still to come.
Devices on the bus are Hot-Swappable.
Transmitting data over CAT 5 cable allows data at 100Mbps to travel 100 Meters (1394b).
PCMCIA FireWire cards do not provide power so peripherals like the iPod would need their own external power supply.
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