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A future version of FireWire will quadruple the speed of today's fastest version, the IEEE 1394 Trade Association has revealed. Officially known as S3200, the format will build on the same connectors and technology used for today's FireWire 800 but operate at a peak of 3.2 gigabits per second, or 400 megabytes per second; this is four times the 800 megabits and 100 megabytes possible through the earlier standard. It does so without losing the qualities that makes FireWire unique, the Association says. Unlike USB, the format uses very little processor overhead and operates near its peak as long as the source is quick enough. It also supplies more power than either USB or external Serial ATA. As a result, the format can transmit quickly at distances of 328 feet or more when using specialized cables.
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