The 1394 Trade Association announced Microsoft's plans to support 1394b, the 800 Megabit/second version of the popular FireWire audio-video standard, in the upcoming release of Windows Vista.
At the annual WinHEC Conference in Seattle, Microsoft announced plans to include support for the IEEE standard 1394b in Windows Vista shortly after the release of the new operating system. Building on the existing support in Windows XP for 1394a, the 800 Megabit/second transfer rates in the IEEE 1394b standard (expandable to rates of 1.6 Gigabit/second and 3.2 Gigabit/second) will further expand the bandwidth available in Windows for scenarios such as high-definition audio and video transfers and external storage solutions.
1394b can support real-time audio/video distribution over existing wires in the home while also supporting a multitude of other high performance computing and connectivity applications from a single interface. It is scalable to 3.2 Gigabits/second.
1394b is a networking standard with the ability to support up to 45 watts of power over the bus, allowing users of PC and CE devices to interconnect, provide power to and communicate with over 60 devices in a daisy-chain network, significantly reducing the amount of bulky power and connector cables typically required to wire a home entertainment network.
1394b is currently available in a complete range of high-performance PC and storage products from Apple, Intel, Seagate, Maxtor, LaCie, and Western Digital Corporation, among others. The 1394 Trade Association has estimated that by the end of 2006, more than five million 1394b-equipped Wintel and MAC PCs will have shipped.
The 1394 Trade Association is a global organization dedicated to the advancement and proliferation of the IEEE 1394 standard in the consumer electronics, computer, peripherals, automotive, industrial, and other markets.