David beat Goliath again?
All the marketing power, the close alliances and the efforts that Intel put in place to promote USB 2 could break against the delays with which the new technology is entering the market. And to benefit in the end it could be FireWire, the competitor to whom Intel aims to wrest its leadership in high-speed peripheral connections, think of it are some analysts interviewed yesterday by C / Net according to which the scenario of a computer world dominated by USB 2, as dominated today by USB 1.1, could be overly optimistic. "Intel – says Robyn Bergeron of Cahners In-stat – will not deliver the first chipsets that by the third quarter of 2001. Third-party chipsets will not arrive until 9 months later . All this makes USB 2 a technology for the year 2002 ". Long times for the release of USB 2 peripherals, which could lead to data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps could put FireWire in difficulty, according to Bergeron, will eventually facilitate the task of IEEE 1396 technology. "USB 2 – says Cahners analyst In- stat – on paper an appealing project and also enjoys the support of some great realities of the computer industry, but Firewire available today and represents a ready-made solution and those who need to have fast peripherals today cannot wait for 2002 ?. The proof in the progressive affirmation of FireWire among manufacturers such as Dell, Compaq, Gateway, as well as computers from Apple and Sony, the first inventor of FireWire, the second part of the consortium that promotes it. In turn, those who build peripherals – supports C / Net – increasingly focuses on FireWire as the reference system for scanners and hard discs. In addition to this, FireWire is now the standard for connecting digital cameras to computer systems, even home ones. Finally FireWire, in addition to being fast today almost like the 2002 USB, from now to next year will double the speed, going from 400 to 800 Mbps and then aiming to exceed the Gbps just for the days when USB 2 will finally be a reality on the market. The same peripheral manufacturers now seem convinced that the only safe bet, for now, is FireWire. "FireWire – says Robert Ozankan, one of Epson's managers – was born as a broadband connectivity system. We also offer systems with USB, but we will progressively release more and more FireWire products in the field of printers and scanners "" FireWire is born specifically for storage devices – added Paul Deckers of OnStream, a company that produces peripherals – and even if USB is used for the same purpose at the moment suitable only for those who have no important speed requirements. We cannot wait years to see a version of USB that is also suitable for the needs of professionals "" In any case, to understand who will win between FireWire and USB 2 – continues Deckers – we should be able to answer two questions. First: how much it costs to use IEEE 1396, as USB 2; second: what will be the spread of FireWire before the release of USB 2? ". Answering these questions, C / Net warns in closing we might find that in the end, even after the release of USB 2, the current situation may not change: FireWire and USB will continue to coexist, with the first destined for the HD market, of the scanners and digital cameras, USB to that of mice, keyboards and other peripherals. If it were really so it would be a setback for Intel that, by promoting USB 2, has always supported FireWire will become a niche standard, relegated to the small (relatively to the largest of the universality of the peripherals) world of video editing.