FireWire has come a long way since its introduction in the mid-1980s, but it pales in comparison to USB as to how widespread the technology has become. FireWire isn’t dead though, and the IEEE has just announced a revised specification that will continue to keep it a relevant technology.
The new IEEE 1394-2008 specification will introduce support for the S1600 and S3200 standards running at 1.6Gbps and 3.2Gbps, respectively. The improved speed totally blows the 480Mbps for USB 2.0 out of the water, but then again USB 3.0 should also roll out soon with an expected speed bump to 4.8Gbps.
It’s also worth noting that the new FireWire standards will use the same connectors as S800 and will be fully compatible with the previous S400 standard. The IEEE 1394-2008 spec will become available in October, according to the IEEE, while the USB 3.0 spec is expected to be published by the end of this year.