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Definition - What does FireWire mean?

FireWire is a high-speed real-time interface for serial bus and isochronous/synchronous data transfer between enabled devices. Known for its high-performance, FireWire is used with digital audio/video, camcorders, home entertainment applications, central processing units (CPU) and personal computers (PC) and offers sustained transfer rates of over 3200 Mbits/s.

In 1986, Apple initiated FireWire as its main communications interface as a version of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) IEEE 1394 standard. FireWire was commercially released in the mid-1990s. FireWire is also known as IEEE 1394, i.LINK and Lynx.

Techopedia explains FireWire

FireWire is used for audio-video (A/V) communication and built into most Apple operating systems. It is available in wireless, fiber optic, and coaxial isochronous protocol versions.

FireWire features include:

  • Plug and socket connector capability for up to 63 devices with data transfer rate (DTR) speeds up to 400 Mbps
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) device communication networking without central processing unit (CPU) or system memory
  • Plug-and-play support, which allows operating systems (OS) to automatically detect and configure new peripherals without system shutdown
  • Hot swapping, which enables component removal and replacement without system shutdown.

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