FireWire (IEEE 1394) is a serial bus that provides high-speed data transfer between particular devices. First of all, it is good at working with digital gadgets that record and playback sound and video, such as camcorders.
FireWire lets process audio and video data of rather big sizes at great speed in real-time mode. This technology is also popular in external storage devices.
It is possible to connect up to 63 devices to the bus. FireWire is supported not by all OS, except Mac OS (8.6 and newer) and Windows (98 and newer). It can be that the bus is not compatible with the OS. In such a case, download drivers for FireWire (IEEE 1394) devices.
FireWire also supports the plug-and-play technology. When a user connects a new device to the bus, it is found by the OS automatically. Then, a user may receive a request to insert drivers’ disc if the settings for this device are still not installed on the computer. If drivers for FireWire (IEEE 1394) devices are already here, the computer starts transferring data from or to the device.
FireWire supports Hot Plug. It means that it is not obligatory to switch the machine off to connect or disconnect such a device.
The company that started developing this interface was Apple (1992).
Today, different companies promote the standard under their own trademarks:
Yamaha — mLAN
TI — Lynx
Creative — SB1394
Sony — I.LINK
Apple — FireWire
FireWire differs from USB with transfer data rate in particular; nowadays, USB is faster. Another difference is that FireWire specializes in working with large-sized data (for example, of video cameras, DVD players, digital sound equipment). Also, USB connection is centralized comparing to FireWire’s. USB 2.0 requires a central computer to start data transferring process. FireWire connection is decentralized: at least two devices that support this type of connection (two cameras, for example) are needed to transfer data.
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