AUGUST 28--Texas Instruments Inc. (TI; Dallas, TX; www.ti.com) unveiled what it claims is the first IEEE 1394b-compliant high-performance serial bus for mass storage devices, consumer electronics, and automotive applications at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Jose, CA. The device offers double the speed of the previous generation of IEEE 1394 devices, TI said, with performance that can reach up to 800 Mbit/s. It also increases distance up to 100 m, allowing design engineers to simplify the architecture of their products and reduce costs, according to TI.
"Previously, 1394 could only be connected via copper cabling, which was limited to 4.5 m. As the capabilities of 1394b become a reality and designers start to work with it, new markets and applications will emerge for this versatile and powerful interface," said Randy Trost, TI's worldwide PC connectivity market manager. "The higher speeds and extended distances are supported over media such as household telecommunications wiring and fiberoptic cables. This makes 1394b a great choice for linking personal computers with cameras, set-top boxes, DVDs, gaming platforms, and other exciting applications."
TI's latest 1394b products include a device for managing the 1394 physical layer (PHY) and a chip for handling 1394's protocols (link layer). TI said its is sampling both to certain customers and software companies, pending final approval of the 1394b specification. The devices are expected to be available in volume production during the second half of 2002.