New FireWire-Equipped Products and Systems

Apple Adds FireWire 800 - Thunderbolt Adapter to New MacBook Air, MacMini and MacBook Pro Models

At its June 11 Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Apple added a FireWire 800 adapter and also a Gig Ethernet adapter for its Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air,  MacMini and MacBook Pro models.  As part of its annual product introduction event, Apple unveiled a broad range of new PCs; all models that previously included FireWire continue to do so either through a port or adapter cable.

The release of the FireWire 800 Thunderbolt adapter enables the 2011 MacBook Air models with Thunderbolt to interface with 1394 peripherals for the first time.  The FireWire 800 Thunderbolt adapter also enables additional 1394 ports on Thunderbolt equipped MacMini and MacBook Pro computers.
One of the most innovative of the new products is the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which measures just 18 mm at its ‘thickest’ point, meaning FireWire 800 connectivity requires an adapter cable (just $29). The Retina display resolution is a significant 2,880 by 1,800 -- text is scaled so it doesn't look too small. Prices start under $2,200.   For additional details about the new Apple offerings, visit this URL:


LSI has introduced its newest 1394 IC, the FW842 for digital storage and audio applications.  The new device provides digital and analog functions to implement up to a two-port node in a 1394 network.  Ports are 1394-2008 compliant and backward-compatible with IEEE 1394b-2002, 1394a-2000, and 1394-1995 specifications.  All ports are capable of monitoring line conditions for determining connection status, initialization and arbitration, and packet reception and transmission.

The FW842 includes an on-chip voltage regulator to enable operation from a single 3.3 V power supply as well as an on-chip crystal oscillator that only requires an external 24.576MHz crystal. The FW842 56-pin MLCC package provides the industry’s smallest footprint for a 1394b PHY in a leaded package. In addition, the device offers a common-mode noise filter on the incoming bias detect circuit to filter out crosstalk noise.

Vision System Software

EyeVision Software, which has traditionally included 1394 interfaces, now supports CoaXPress cameras, used with Active Silicon frame grabbers for high-speed image transfer. The software supports standard interfaces such as USB, FireWire, GigE, and Camera Link. The user interface features the drag-and-drop functions in the program editor seen in previous versions of the software to simplify use for creating new inspection programs as well as simple control and monitoring or cameras already established in a system. The software enables optical measurement inspection tasks ranging from object detection to complex measurements.

NorPix’ StreamPix5 digital video-recording software, which supports FireWire, is compatible with Vicon Blade motion capture software, which allows a video archive to be analyzed alongside the motion capture data. StreamPix5 supports interfaces such as USB, 1394, Camera Link, and others. It now offers support for VITC as well as LTC that enables video to be added to master timing tracks for synchronization with Blade's 3-D data.


Midas’ VeniceF is the first professional analog live sound console to feature a multichannel digital audio FireWire interface, which pioneers “a new genre of hybrid live audio consoles.”  The bus structure goes along with the original Venice concept (six aux sends, four groups, and stereo masters), and the ‘F’ adds a mono bus and a 7x2 matrix. The EQ features an updated XL3 design, with four bands of swept Midas EQ and variable bandwidth on the two midrange filters. The Midas VeniceF is ideal for small- to medium-sized PA and recording tasks. It is an inexpensive desk with Midas quality preamps and four-band fully parametric EQ. It offers appropriately flexible routing with a FireWire bus that provides digital access to every input for recording purposes. Price: $3,500.

Motu has introduced the 828mk3 Hybrid audio interface with innovative new features, universal "hybrid" FireWire/USB2 connectivity to your Mac or Windows computer, superb sound, and reliable performance. The 828mk3 provides 10 channels of pristine 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of ADAT digital I/O and stereo S/PDIF. Systems can be expanded by connecting additional MOTU audio interfaces or the 8pre mic input expander. The 828mk3 provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows and all audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. MOTU FireWire audio interfaces can connect to any Firewire port. Just plug in and go, with any standard cable.  Prices start at $649.

Vision hardware

Sony continues to expand its popular XCD IEEE1394b camera series with its ultra-compact and lightweight, monochrome XCD-MV6. The new progressive scan camera incorporates a 1/3 type wide VGA global shutter CMOS sensor and is one of the smallest IEEE1394b-based cameras on the market. Transmission speeds are S1600 (1.6 Gbps 1600Mbps) and S800 (800 Mbps). The camera is equipped with Sony's own correction function, which corrects pixel blemishes and vertical stripes characteristic of CMOS Sensors. In addition, it is equipped with a function to correct shading produced by lenses and light sources, achieving high image quality required for machine vision use.

The XCD-MV6 measures just 19mm (3/4 inch) in depth and weighs only 37 grams. Combining high-quality images with miniaturized body, the XCD-MV6 is ideally suited for space-restricted machine vision and robotic applications. It complies with IIDC version 1.32.  Priced at approximately $700.



Belkin has improved on the FireWire800-Thunderbolt express dock design the company previously showed off at CES. There's Thunderbolt in and out to allow full 10Gbps daisy-chaining of further peripherals, alongside FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort (with included HDMI adapter) and audio in and out.  The company announced the new station will be ready in September.



1394 TA Brings Back Long-Time TA Member Les Baxter to Complete Review of 1394-2008, Issue New IEEE Specification

1394 Trade Association Details the Features and Benefits of New IIDC2 Standard in New Technical Article

FireWire-based Vision System Inspects X-ray Dosimeter Badges; Checks for Potential Radiation Exposure

1394 Trade Association Design Guide Now Available In Japanese, with Details on Using FireWire in Consumer, Computer, Industrial, Audio Products

1394 TA Surveys Users on Primary Applications for FireWire

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