(Or "IEEE 1394", "FireWire", "I-Link") A 1995 Macintosh/IBM PC serial bus interface standard offering high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data services.
1394 can transfer data between a computer and its peripherals at 100, 200, or 400 Mbps, with a planed increase to 2 Gbps. Cable length is limited to 4.5 m but up to 16 cables can be daisy-chained yielding a total length of 72 m.
It can daisy-chain together up to 63 peripherals in a tree-like structure (as opposed to SCSI's linear structure). It allows peer-to-peer device communication, such as communication between a scanner and a printer, to take place without using system memory or the CPU. It is designed to support plug-and-play and hot swapping. Its six-wire cable is not only more convenient than SCSI cables but can supply up to 60 watts of power, allowing low-consumption devices to operate without a separate power cord.
Some expensive camcorders have included this bus since Autumn 1995. It is expected to be used to carry SCSI, with possible application to home automation using repeaters.
See also Universal Serial Bus, FC-AL.