The 1394 Trade Association, an international organization devoted to promoting the technology known to Mac users as FireWire, held its 10th Interoperability Workshop the first week of April in Tokyo. Led by Apple, Microsoft, Ricoh, and Molex, the workshop featured the introduction of the Base 1394 Test Suite, which was developed for the Trade Association by Quantum Parametrics.
The first application of the test suite — which reviews the compliance of any 1394-equipped product with many of the features of IEEE 1394-1995, and IEEE 1394a — marks the final preparation stage for the 1394 Trade Association’s Logo Program, scheduled to begin later this year.
To avoid confusion in this story, just substitute “FireWire” for “IEEE 13—.” Also note that FireWire, which was coined by Apple, is still used by a few vendors. Others have adopted the name i.Link, which is trademarked by Sony and has become a popular moniker for 1394-enabled products and technology in Japan.
The Base Test Suite includes configuration ROM structures that enable IEEE-1394 based products to implement plug and play, along with isochronous resource management functions that enable streaming of real-time audio and video over 1394, and serial bus manager functions to optimize IEEE-1394.
The application used in the Base 1394 Test Suite examined all product types, including computers, computer peripherals, consumer electronics and industrial imaging equipment, according to Dave Thompson of Agere Systems, chairman of the 1394 Compliance and Interoperability work group and a member of the 1394 TA board. The Tokyo workshop, held from April 1-3, also successfully connected 36 devices from 24 different companies in a single large topology during the grand melee, which is held as part of every plugfest event conducted by the Trade Association. The melee was able to sustaining data transfers of approximately 30MB/s with all 36 devices connected, a new record for the group, Thompson said.
The next 1394 interoperability workshop is scheduled for Aug. 5-7 at the Embassy Suites in Bellevue, Washington. The next Trade Association meeting is May 1-4 in Barcelona.