FireWire to Reach 3.2 Gigabit/s Speeds

The 1394 Trade Association announced a new S3200 specification that will deliver speeds up to 3.2 gigabits per second over FireWire. This represents a four-fold improvement over the existing FireWire 800 specification found in current Macs.

The new specification builds on the existing 1394b standard by using the same cables and connectors that are already deployed in existing FireWire 800 products. S3200 is expected to be ratified by early February.

"The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multi-purpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices," said James Snider, executive director, 1394 Trade Association. "There is a very clear migration path from 800 Megabits/second to 3.2 Gigabits/second, with no need for modifications to the standard and no requirement for new cables or connectors."

The increased bandwidth would permit S3200 to transmit uncompressed high definition signals over long distances at a lower cost than HDMI.

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