Rumours of FireWire death 'exaggerated'

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Rumours of FireWire death 'exaggerated'

Life in the old dog yet, according to trade association.

1394 Trade Association has hit back at new research suggesting that the IEEE 1394, or FireWire, interface will suffer a slow death in the face of overwhelming competition from the rival USB2 standard. 

"FireWire has become a standard fixture on the new generation of personal computers, with particularly high penetration in a compelling new generation of notebooks," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association.

Snider went on to list newly launched products from a variety of companies, including Toshiba, HP, Dell, Fujitsu and Gateway, which all feature the 1394 FireWire interface.

Toshiba launched its 1394-equipped 14in Tecra X9 in late June designed primarily for business users.

HP also continues to deliver 1394-equipped products, most recently with its dv2500t Pavilion notebook which includes four-pin 1394a connectivity.

Dell's XPS M1710 is the company's latest premium gaming notebook, featuring 1394 and a 17in widescreen.

"Many of the systems just announced, such as the Dell M1710 and the Tecra X9, are designed for very different markets and are getting very good reviews from the industry," said Snider.

"We expect to see this trend continue as manufacturers realise the value of 1394's speed and reliability for specific applications or for connecting with a home or business network."

However, Snider's assertions cut little ice with industry analyst In-Stat, which predicts that FireWire will suffer "major challenges" and a slow decline that will set in during 2009.

"IEEE 1394 suffers from being the second-choice technology in many product segments," said In-Stat analyst Brian O'Rourke.
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