IEEE 1394

A very fast external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of up to 400Mbps (in 1394a) and 800Mbps (in 1394b). Products supporting the 1394 standard go under different names, depending on the company. Apple, which originally developed the technology, uses the trademarked name FireWire. Other companies use other names, such as i.link and Lynx,to describe their 1394 products.

A single 1394 port can be used to connect up 63 external devices. In addition to its high speed, 1394 also supports isochronous data — delivering data at a guaranteed rate. This makes it ideal for devices that need to transfer high levels of data in real-time, such as video devices.

Although extremely fast and flexible, 1394 is also expensive. Like USB, 1394 supports both Plug-and-Play and hot plugging, and also provides power to peripheral devices.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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