Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let’s hear it for FireWire

Last week I said that FireWire is “just falling by the wayside,” (“Mastering the GigE interface” September 6th, 2012,) and then I read “Firewire Cameras: The Future of FireWire” on the Vision & Sensors website, which opens by asking, “Is FireWire dying?” Probably a coincidence, but who knows?

The article was written by Point Grey, takes a fairly pro-FireWire stance, and makes some good points. FireWire is a single cable system (power goes through the camera cable,) and it has some neat features like daisy-chaining. But I do disagree with the speed claims.

My issue is not that the info is inaccurate – it isn’t – but that the 800Mbit/sec rate assumes the use of FireWire b. Now I’ve always had a problem with this, because Windows doesn’t support this speed. Yes, I realize Point Grey provides ways around this, but it detracts from the essential easiness of FireWire.

Don’t misunderstand me, I like FireWire, but as the numbers in the article show, GigE is gaining ground. After all, some people still use analogue cameras but that doesn’t mean it’s where the future is. So bottom line – I stand by my contention that FireWire is “falling by the wayside.”

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