MARCH 27--The director of the 1394 Trade Association (Dallas, TX) recently predicted that most new notebook computers will incorporate the IEEE 1394 standard by the end of this year. "The number and quality of new consumer and computer peripheral products designed with 1394/FireWire/i.LINK made a major step forward at the end of 2001," said James Snider, the 1394 Trade Association executive director. "It continued during the first quarter of 2002. The list is lengthy and impressive." Snider added that design activity is picking up in Europe now and continues to be strong in China and south Asia, where he will lead a delegation in April.
Snider cited the arrival of the new `b' version of the standard, which provides a minimum of 800-Mbit/s bandwidth and extended connectivity for FireWire and i.LINK products. Category 5 wire and plastic optical fiber can be used to achieve distance of 100 m and more between 1394-equipped devices. The advent of the new, high-bandwidth version, which is designed for extension to 3.2 Gbits/s, will accelerate 1394-equipped designs beginning late in the second calendar quarter and position IEEE 1394 as the standard of choice for home networking and for the automobile network.