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Firewire 3200 seeking adoption

by on18 December 2007


Should deliver 390 MB/s

The 1394 Trade Association has announced a new standard seeking adoption which will be known as S3200. The Firewire 3200 standard builds upon the existing Firewire 1394b standard and Firewire 800 cabling technology to deliver a blistering 390 MB/s transfer rate. With the Firewire S3200, which hopes to begin the ratification process in January 2008, the throughput will be enough to deliver HDTV signals at 1920x1200 at 50 frames per second.

Using the new S3200 standard, because of the lower overhead allowing for 97% of the transmitted data to contain user payload, users should be able to receive 390 MB/s which tops both USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces for external hard drives and other storage devices that are able to handle the increased transfer rate.

While Firewire has been the domain of video users in recent times, a renewed interest in the Firewire S3200 standard could ignite motherboard makers to start offering the interface more routinely on motherboards again. Recently, many motherboards have offered only the Firewire 1394b standard, if any Firewire interface at all. The Firewire 800 standard did not gain serious traction in the PC market space due to its higher cost, and high consumer adoption of the USB 2.0 standard as the norm for connecting just about everything to the PC.

While testing has shown that the Firewire interface does offer many advantages over the USB 2.0 interface, manufacturers have continued to go with the USB interface in most cases. The popularity of the Firewire interface has been limited to the video realm and users who use it for some external storage devices.

Last modified on 18 December 2007
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