Difference Between USB and FireWire

Transferring data at high speeds becomes an essential criterion as data is constantly transmitted. The pace plays a crucial role as there could be large file transfers in the shortest time.

Both USB and FireWire are technologies that are connected to the computer to transfer data quickly.

USB vs FireWire

The main difference between USB and Firewire is that USB is familiar for Universal Serial Bus handle audio and visual data. The USB network topology is a hub, which implies the usage of a small adapter equipped with several USB ports and gets utilized in standard computers with high speeds. IEEE 1394 High-Performance Serial Bus is another term for Firewire.

USB vs FireWire

USB is plug and play (PnP) interface. It suggests the potential of the computer to detect and compose the hardware instantly. Intel and Microsoft developed a USB to replace the low-speed connections used by computer peripherals.

USB is flexible and widely used with computer peripherals. USB device helps in powering devices like smartphones or tablets.

The design of Firewire helps in faster transfer of data and ease of use. Firewire’s latest versions speed up to 800 Mbps.

It is specially used for audio and video equipment as it transfers a large amount of data. Firewire is a peer-to-peer that implies they don’t need a central portal or computer.

Comparison Table Between USB and FireWire

Parameters of ComparisonUSBFireWire
DesignIt is designed by IBM, Microsoft, and other corporations.It is designed by Apple.
VoltageThe maximum voltage is 5V.The maximum voltage is 30 V.
PowerThe power provided is lesser as compared to Firewire.Firewire provides greater power.
LengthThe length of a USB varies from 2 to 5 meters.The length of the firewire is 4.5 meters.
SignalIt uses packet data.It uses signal data.

What is a USB?

The first version of the USB was introduced in 1996 to replace the multiple connectors behind the PC. Compaq, Intel, Digital, Microsoft, and a few other corporations designed the USB.

The Universal Serial Bus(USB) is an interface. It ensures that the computer can transfer data with peripherals or devices.

It is possible to connect devices like the mouse, printer, keyboard, digital camera via USB. The design of the USB was for simplicity and low cost. 

The transfer speeds of the USB is as follows:

  • USB 1.0-Transfers data at the rate of 12 Mbps.
  • USB 2.0-Transfers data at the rate of 480 Mbps, and it’s called hi-speed USB.
  • USB 3.0-Nicknamed SuperSpeed USB. It has data tracks for obtaining and addressing data concurrently. It is a better variety of USB 2.0 and transfers data at a rate of 5 Gbps.

The USB connectors come in various shapes and sizes. The versions are standard, mini, and micro USB

  • Mini USB comes in handy for digital cameras and computer peripherals.
  • Micro USB launched in 2007 replaced the mini version. There was a Type A and type B connector. Utilized to connect peripherals, video game controllers, charge the smartphone, and commonly used in electronic devices.
  • USB Type C features in Android smartphones and USB-C cables are reversible. They plug correctly even if the device is upside down.

All the computers usually have a single USB port. The majority of modern computers, desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones support USB. 

What is a Firewire?

Firewire was the creation of Apple and launched in late 1980. It is even called IEEE 1394.

The aim was to create an inexpensive, high-speed connection for an external device, and companies like Apple, Sony, and a few other companies utilized Firewire.

Firewire was approved officially in 1995, and the firewire ports began appearing on Apple computers. Firewire transferred data at a speed of 400Mbit/s.

The pace of transfer made it an attractive option. 

Firewire transmits up to 45 watts of electric power, enough for a maximum of small devices can get connected to a single firewire bus, and the standard Firewire offers peer-to-peer connectivity.

A maximum of 64 devices can get connected without the central control of a computer. The credible factor of Firewire is that each device can operate at its own pace when connected. 

The devices on the Firewire network can be connected and disconnected without cycling power. Firewire ports are easily distinguishable as they are smaller and tapered on one end. 

Microsoft discontinued the use of Firewire in the Windows version from 2004. The windows did not support the Firewire network, and Mac and Linux utilize the Firewire port on their computers. 

Firewire delivers high speed, and it provides more power to the device that is connected. It supplies 60 watts of energy as compared to the 2.5 watts that you get from USB.

The Firewire was expensive, and creating designs to be compliant was a bit tedious. 

Main Differences Between USB and FireWire

  1. Intel and Microsoft developed a USB with the help of other companies. Apple and other contributors created Firewire.
  2. USB is a link that transmits between a device and an anchor controller like a customized computer. Firewire supports data transfer between devices.
  3. The maximum voltage is 5V for a USB and it was designed in 1996. The maximum voltage for Firewire is 30V and was made official in 1986.
  4. The length of the USB varies from 2 to 5 meters. The stretch of the Firewire is 4.5 meters.
  5. USB uses packet data for signals. Firewire uses data signals.
Difference Between USB and FireWire

Conclusion

Firewire and USB are technology to connect devices to the computer for transferring data. USB (Universal Serial Bus) was created jointly by Intel and Microsoft and Firewire by Apple.

The two technologies are still widely utilized. 

The USB design made simple was a low-cost port connection. Firewire focused on time-sensitive applications like audio and video.

In terms of speed, USB is not as advanced as Firewire. 

The cost of a USB 3.0 cable is more than Firewire, but the additional device for compatibility with the other devices is the disadvantage.  

USB is flexible compared to Firewire, and it is widely part of many small computer peripherals.

References

  1. https://patents.google.com/patent/USD524315S1/en
  2. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=3343018
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