A FireWire connector, also known as IEEE 1394, is an interface standard for a serial bus allowing high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer. FireWire was developed in the 1980s by Apple but is also known by Sony (i-Link) and Texas Instruments (Lynx).
The cable contains copper wire which carries the power allowing devices with moderate power usage to operate with no need for a separate power supply. FireWire is similar to USB.
Benefits of FireWire
- Can connect up to 63 peripherals in a tree or daisy chain topology
- Allows peer to peer device communication
- Supports multiple hosts per bus
- Supports plug and play and hot swapping
- Capable of safely operating critical systems
- Asynchronous and isochronous transfer methods supported
FireWire connectors can be used with some Apple devices such as early versions of iPods and iPod nano.
Camcorders which recorded to tape have a FireWire interface. The connector can support remote control play/rewind functions and can stream the time code from a camera.
FireWire can also be used for games consoles and ad-hoc computer networks however most new computers and consoles do not support these types of connectors.