IEEE 1394 Interface

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does IEEE 1394 Interface Mean?

The IEEE 1394 interface is an electronic standard that is used to connect computers. It includes a plug-and-socket connection with a serial bus interface. Up to 63 devices may be connected at the same time with (relatively) high data transfer speeds.


The IEEE 1394 standard has proved very popular for communication between computers and peripheral devices.

The IEEE 1394 interface is commonly known as FireWire.

Techopedia Explains IEEE 1394 Interface

The standard IEEE 1394 was developed by Apple in 1986. Most consumers simply refer to it as "FireWire." It is widely available in the market in the forms of coaxial, wireless and fiber optic cable.

IEEE 1394 interface has the following features:

  • Real-time data transferring for multimedia applications
  • 100-800 Mb/s data transfer rate
  • Hot plugging is allowed (at a minimum ratio)
  • Line terminators are not required
  • Plug-and-play
  • Auto-configuration for many peripheral devices
  • Same connectors for multiple devices and components

The FireWire system is commonly used to connect digital cameras and other storage devices. FireWire has an edge over USB in terms of power distribution, reliability and data transfer speed. Moreover, FireWire system has adopted the functionalities and characteristics of SCSI.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.