Symwave Doubles FireWire Speed to 1.6Gbps

Semiconductor maker Symwave is demonstrating FirePHY-1600, which increases the data transfer speed of FireWire to 1.6 gigabits per second (Gbps), twice as fast as the FireWire interfaces found on today's pro-level Macs.

FirePHY-1600 is backwards-compatible with FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 products, but offers dramatically faster speed. You can transfer 1000 4-megapixel digital pictures in less than five seconds using FirePHY-1600, according to Symwave.

This is the first chipset to appear that utilizes the IEEE 1934b S1600 Physical Layer (PHY) specification, according to the company.

Symwave hopes to see the new interface used on Macs and PCs, used in add-in peripheral expansion cards and ExpressCards. No specific product announcements were made in conjunction with FirePHY-1600's introduction, but Symwave is demonstrating it at a 1394 product seminar happening in Shenzhen, China later this week. It is also seeding samples to interested manufacturers.

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