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Firewire Upgrade Pushes Speed Limit to 3.2Gbps

Firewire, the favourite interface of the Consumer Electronics world, is to receive a welcomed upgrade in October which will push its speed to 1.6Gbps and 3.2Gbps respectively, thanks to an approval from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Both Apple and Sony are strong backers of the interface which has become the defacto connection for camcorders and many audiovisual devices.

However, USB still carries the bulk of data to and fro on computers and peripherals and the update is more geared at fending off competition from newcomer, eSATA which is predominantly used in storage devices.

Current Firewire speeds top 800Mbps, faster than USB 2.0 at 480Mbps, but likely to be woefully inadequate when HD content capture becomes mainstream in a couple of years and when USB 3.0, set start at a whopping 4.8Gbps, starts in 2010.

Furthermore, with Wireless USB devices scheduled to appear on the market in the next few months, the standard backed by Intel looks likely to contain Firewire in its traditional segments for the foreseeable future.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.