firewire : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


Also known as Sony i.LINK or IEEE-1394, firewire is an external bus designed by Apple. It is higher performance than USB (Universal Serial Bus). Like USB, it is hot pluggable and can provide power. It uses a 4 or 6-pin connector. It is much faster than USB. It runs at 400 MBit/sec with an 800 Mbit version coming. Compare that with 1 MBit/sec for USB, 10 MBit/sec for ordinary 10-base T Ethernet and 100 MBit/sec for fast 100-base T Ethernet. It might be used for interconnecting stereo components. In the Mac world it is used to attach external hard disks. It may come to the PC (Personal Computer) world as well, edging out USB.

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