Agere Systems announced today that it has discontinued products that support Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 applications, including its host controller and transceiver chips. The company said that it’s focusing resources on accelerating product development for 1394b instead.
1394b is an updated version of the specification that Apple, Sony and other companies use in computers and peripherals, including DV camcorders, scanners and high-speed data storage peripherals. The updated spec has not yet been implemented in any shipping products, but the 1394 Trade Association is promoting it as a new multimedia standard.
1394b increases bandwidth from 400Mb/sec to 800Mb/sec and 1.6Gb/sec. Audio and video transfer is supported over plastic optical fiber, UTP and glass optical fiber at speeds from 200Mb/sec to 3.2Gb/sec, depending on the medium and distance. 1394b also implements a new bus arbitration scheme known as bus owner supervisor selector (BOSS), which provides the ability to run the arbitration protocol in parallel with data transmission. It’s also backward compatible with the previous versions of the 1394 spec. More information about the 1394b specification is available from the
1394 Trade Association Web site.
Agere general manager Jack Keller explained that his company’s announcement today indicates a sharpening focus on getting 1394b to Agere’s customers.
“This 1394 product decision is an example of Agere re-directing its product development efforts to the company’s most promising market opportunities,” said Keller.
Agere said it plans to continue to offer USB 1.1 and 1394a products.