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FireWire 2 debuts in early April

The date of the debut of "FireWire 2", or rather of the IEEE 1394b standard has been fixed. The specifications and, probably, the first peripherals, even if still in the form of a prototype, should see the light in early April, to be precise during a series of meetings that will be held in China from 8 to 12 April.

James Iider, executive director of the reality that brings together the producers of peripherals compatible with FireWire, Max Bassler of Molex, vice president of TA and Sam Liu of Newnex Technologym, one of the members of the council. During the events, the specifications and advantages of both the "original" version of FireWire and the new implementation "B" will be illustrated.

Recall that "FireWire 2" will allow an increase in the data transmission speed to 800 Mbps from the current 400 Mbps, a leap forward which means data transfer twice as much as possible today but also about double compared to USB 2 which is trying to undermine the position of FireWire as a standard for the connectivity of fast peripherals.

According to the 1394 TA, the adoption of the new standard should proceed quickly and confirm the progress made over the past few months. "The number and quality of peripherals for consumer products and laptops – said the president of the 1394 TA – has done a great deal step forward in 2001 and continued also in the first quarter of 2002 ". In particular, in recent months Europe would have shown the greatest growth margins with China and Asia, which for some time have been producing many FireWire compatible devices.

According to Snider the next driving factors of the standard in addition to the "B" version will also be new optical cables capable of extending the signal transmission up to 100 meters away. These two factors, with the possibility of reaching 3.2 Gigabit per second soon, will accelerate the adoption of FireWire as a network system.

Among the most relevant new products that use the FireWire standard, a Mitsuhishi high definition television with network connectivity, Sony Vaio series laptops, Maxtor external disks, a Sun workstation.

It is likely that Apple will be among the first to adopt FireWire 2 on new machines. Some rumors claim that in all likelihood the new G4s planned for the Macworld in New York will have their own ports compatible with the new standard