USB 3.0 really threw down
this September with a theoretical max throughput of 4Gbps, but it looks like FireWire isn't going down without a fight. The latest and greatest FireWire version, dubbed "S3200" by those creatives up in marketing, uses the same ports and cables as FireWire 800, but boosts speeds to 3.2Gbps, which should make it pretty competitive with USB in the real world -- though actual real-life speeds will probably depend on who's adding up the bits. According to the 1394 Trade Association: "The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader," but we hear they're biased. They are claiming that where current FireWire 800 hard drives can move 90MB per second, S3200 should be able to do 400MB. Speed concerns aside, the power delivery, peer to peer architecture, and handy networking capabilities of 1394 mean that FireWire should hopefully be around for a long time to come.