The group behind development of FireWire, the IEEE, has approved the new IEEE 1394-2008 specification that gives support for better bandwidth of up to 3.2Gbps.

In an attempt to maintain compatibility between different evolutions of FireWire, the revised specification combines and incorporates all previous IEEE 1394 standards developed since 1994.

The standard provides specifications for a high-speed serial bus which supports both asynchronous and isochronous communication and integrates well with most IEEE standard 32-bit and 64-bit parallel buses. More than 500 million IEEE 1394 ports have been produced since the standard was first published in 1995.

"The new standard includes all of the amendments, enhancements and more than 100 errata which have been added to the base standard over the last 12 years," said Les Baxter, chair of the working group which developed the standard. "This update provides developers with a single document they can rely upon for all of their application needs."

The 1394-2008 standard updates and revises all prior 1394 standards, including 1394a, 1394b, 1394c, enhanced UTP, and the 1394 beta plus PHY-Link interface. 

For future use in video and other high bandwidth applications, the new FireWire standard offers plenty of speed improvement – it incorporates the complete specifications for S1600 (1.6 Gigabit/second bandwidth) and for S3200, which provides 3.2 Gigabit/second speeds. 

The standard is expected to be available this October. 

 

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