How Does a 1394 Connection Work?


Quick Answer

An IEEE 1394 connection, also known as FireWire, refers to the way certain devices, such as digital audio and video equipment, transfer data between one another. It is an interface standard whereby data is transmitted in real-time; most commonly between data storage devices and digital camcorders. When transmitting data, FireWire encodes it by employing D/S (data/strobe) encoding, through which two NRZ (non-return-to-zero) signals allow for fast and reliable data transmission.

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Full Answer

When a user connects a digital camcorder to a computer, it is immediately assigned an address through a process called enumeration. Due to the plug-and-play nature of FireWire connections, the system automatically detects the device and offers to install appropriate drivers for it. If that isn’t necessary, then the system can communicate with the device and transfer data the moment it’s detected. Hot plugging feature allows devices that use a FireWire connection to be removed without necessitating system shutdown.

During data transfer, FireWire uses 64-bit fixed addressing, whereby each packet of information contains a 2-bit bus ID, a 6-bit physical ID and a 48-bit storage area. It allows data to make 16 device-to-device jumps if the devices are daisy-chained together.

FireWire supports isochronous and asynchronous applications. In isochronous mode, the connection guarantees fixed bandwidth and no error correction while providing real-time transfer.

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