Also known as IEEE-1394,, and DV, FireWire is a serial interface that's aimed at high-throughput devices such as a hard disk and tape drives, as well as consumer-level multimedia devices such as digital camcorders, digital VCRs, and digital televisions. Originally it was conceived as a general-purpose interface suitable for replacing legacy serial ports, but with blazing speed. However, it has been most used in digital video—at least so far. Promised new performance and a choice of media may rekindle interest in FireWire as a general-purpose, high-performance interconnection system.

For the most part, FireWire is a hardware interface. It specifies speeds, timing, and a connection system. The software side is based on SCSI. In ...

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