Intel denies FireWire rivalry

Intel denies FireWire rivalry
Tom Foremski Intel has denied that it is developing a speedier Universal Serial Bus (USB) in order to compete with the FireWire standard, also known as IEEE 1394. “There is no way that USB 2.0 will compete with 1394. If we can boost the speed of USB by up to 20 times, it will provide between 120 to 240Mbit/s compared with 12Mbit/s right now,” said Steve Whalley, Intel’s PC technology initiatives manager. “1394 runs at 400Mbit/s and is aimed at the high end.” In recent weeks Intel has protested against the high licence fees being charged by FireWire inventor Apple Computer saying that the fees could limit the use of the high speed serial interface. Whalley explained that the faster USB is needed for newer peripherals and for high bandwidth applications such as videoconferencing. But as the use of 1394 increases and chip prices fall, competition is inevitable between 1394 and the future USB 2.0. “There may be some overlap but there will always be a space for USB because it will continue to be cheaper than 1394,” Whalley said. USB can be implemented in 10,000 gates but 1394 requires some 150,000 gates, he said. At the conference, Intel demonstrated an overclocked Pentium III microprocessor running at over 1GHz. It also demonstrated its prototype PC designs in a variety of colours and different shapes saying that the “beige tower” look for PCs is over.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*