THE INSTITUTE of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEE) formally approved a faster Firewire specification.
The new specification, officially known as IEEE 1394-2008, supports blazing bandwidth rates of up to to 3.2 Gbps and offers full backwards compatibility with S400 and S800 ports. Although the 800Mbps S800 standard is widely available, numerous implementations still utilise the older 400Mbps S400 specification.
Firewire, or "i.LINK”, facilitates peer-to-peer device communication without using system memory or the CPU. The specification, capable of connecting up to 63 peripherals in a tree topology, is designed to support both hot swapping and plug-and-play.
Firewire's competitor, Universal Serial Bus (USB), is currently running version 2.0 with a top speed of 480Mbps. USB 3.0, with an expected rate of 4.8 Gbps, is reportedly slated for release in 2010. µ
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