| MANHASSET, N.Y. — The market for products meeting the IEEE 1394 specification continues to be characterized by both tremendous opportunity and enormous ambiguity, according to a report by In-Stat/MDR, Scottsdale, Ariz. |
The firm reports that the high-speed serial bus specification (also known as FireWire or i.Link) is thriving in both PC and consumer electronics markets. As a result, shipments of 1394-enabled devices are expected to see a 22.2% compound annual growth rate through 2008, the report said.
However, interface alternatives such as USB 2.0, Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) are providing stiff competition for IEEE 1394, according to Brian O'Rourke, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. For example, O'Rourke noted that the USB interface is dominating the market for PC peripherals including printers, scanners, and PC cameras, as well as penetrating areas 1394 was previously strong in such as external hard disk drives and DVD writers. On the plus side, the 1394 interface was gaining usage in consumer electronics such as digital televisions, DVD recorders, and digital camcorders, he noted.
The report noted the emergence of 1394c, which combines 1394b and Ethernet onto a common Physical layer, could impact the home networking space where both technologies compete. Wireless 1394, which allows wireless transmission of 1394 over Ultra Wideband (UWB), was also mentioned as an emerging specification promising to optimize connectivity for clusters of electronic devices.
In the automotive space, the report noted that specifications have been developed to help establish 1394 as a networking standard. The first 1394 automotive networks should emerge in the Japanese aftermarket before the end of 2004, though they won't emerge in factory-installed cars until late 2006, the report said.