FireWire origins date back to the mid-1980’s when Apple Computer devised a high-speed data transfer technology for Macintosh internal hard drives. In 1995, the IEEE announced the IEEE 1394 spec which is sometimes called the FireWire400. In 2002, the IEEE came out with a updated standard called IEEE 1394b which allowed for a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 3.2 Gbps. Apple soon released a subset of the new standard under the title of FireWire 800. In December 2007, the 1394 Trade Association announced the FireWire S3200 that will soon be available and that will support the full 3.2 Gbps transfer rate.
USB 2.0 which was released in 2000, stole most of FireWire’s thunder. A September 2007 article by Joel Hruska talks about a new USB 3.0 technology that targets a bandwidth range of approximately 5Gbps. His article suggests that the USB 3.0 and eSATA (3Gbps) may push FireWire out of the market completely.
PC Pitstop took a look at the PCs running our online tests and analyzed what percent of current PC’s have FireWire capabilities. Obviously, it should be noted that having a FireWire port does not necessarily mean that PC users are using it.
Percentage of PC’s with Firewire Capabilities
Percentage of Desktop’s with Firewire Capabilities – Home vs. Business
Percentage of Portable’s with Firewire Capabilities – Home vs. Business
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