What is Firewire?

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What is Firewire?
Firewire is a serial bus interface standard that was created by Apple Inc. in 1986 and standardized in 1995. Also known as IEEE 1394 interface, Firewire is used for high speed communication and regular real-time data transfer. Firewire is usually used with personal computers as well as digital audio and video devices, as well as in the automotive and aeronautics industries. Firewire is how IEEE 1394 is known as the Apple version, but there are also brands that make their own Firewire version, such as Sony with its i.Link, and Texas Instruments’ Lynx.

A Firewire bus can have up to 63 kinds of devices connected to it. Both Mac OS (8.6 and later versions) and Windows (98 and later versions) can support it. Firewire was developed with many things in mind: faster transfer of data, multi-device hosting capability, convenience, hot pluggable (able to be connected and disconnected at any time), plug and play, can power devices through the cable and low cost. Firewire today has transfer rates of up to 800 Mbps and can have a maximum cable length of up to 100 meters. Firewires is similar in nature to USB, and this why the two is usually compared. What mainly differentiates Firewire from USB is that it is mainly intended to be used for high-speed devices.

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