FireWire ships its two billionth port, still not as fast as USB 3.0

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FireWire ships its two billionth port, still not as fast as USB 3.0
The 1394 Trade Association has announced that over two billion FireWire ports have shipped worldwide, which is most impressive for a largely forgotten interface. Going forward, the Association expects to see "steady, stable growth" in 2011 as more products with FireWire S1600 go to market, though a dearth of such devices at CES makes us think you can add the word 'slow' to that projection. Given that the standard's promised 1.6 Gb/s bandwidth is less than a third of the 5 Gb/s offered by USB 3.0 (even with USB's larger overhead, 3.0 still provides a bigger pipe), and the fact that Intel may finally get on board with Superspeed, it may be awhile before FireWire celebrates another such milestone.

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January 10, 2011 11:00 AM Eastern Time

FireWire Reaches 2 Billion Ports Shipped Worldwide, Will Continue its Strong Growth in 2011

-- IEEE 1394 Provides More than 1.2 Billion Consumer, Computer, Industrial Products with Optimal Connectivity; Will Move to 1.6 Gigabit/second Bandwidth in 2011 --

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FireWire, the popular computer, consumer electronics and industrial systems interface, reached the two billion ports milestone in 2010 and will continue its steady growth worldwide throughout 2011, the 1394 Trade Association said today.

"The two billion ports represents a significant new milestone for 1394"
The two billion FireWire ports shipped provide more than 1.2 billion consumer and computer products with reliable, versatile high-speed connections available from developers of FireWire silicon including Texas Instruments, LSI, and PLX Technology, among others. FireWire continues to be applied in a wide range of PCs, storage systems, new generations of set top boxes, industrial and factory automation equipment, and professional audio systems.

The 1394 Trade Association, which made the announcement prior to its first quarter general meeting in Las Vegas, estimates the total of 1394-equipped devices will increase again in 2011. The group foresees continued expansion into higher speed computing, storage and consumer electronics products, with steady growth of 1394-enabled products in the industrial cameras and instrumentation segments, where FireWire is established as the interface of choice. (see December news release at Also, innovative and exciting work being completed by Dap Technology with S1600 and S3200 speeds (see is leading to new market opportunities. In addition, the 1394 standard is moving forward in automotive networking applications.

"The two billion ports represents a significant new milestone for 1394," said Max Bassler, chairman, 1394 Trade Association. "Just as impressive is the innovative and creative application of FireWire in new generations of advanced industrial automation, vision systems, and production equipment. FireWire will continue its steady, stable growth during 2011, as we migrate to the first products operating at 1.6 Gigabit/second bandwidth -- and as 1394 proves itself superior to competitive interfaces in a variety of sectors." Bassler added that there is now a new generation of set top boxes with FireWire, providing data transfer speeds of 800 Megabit/second.

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement of the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard. The 1394TA is in its 16th year of promoting 1394, which is used today in mass-market computer, entertainment, and professional products, and in a wide range of specialty applications such as audio, defense, aerospace, industrial, and robotics products. For more information, visit
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