Firewire vs USB | difference between Firewire and USB

This page compares Firewire vs USB and mentions difference between Firewire and USB interface types.

The firewire specifications are defined in IEEE 1394 by Apple. It defines specifications for high performance serial bus to connect devices to PCs. It is the method to transport information between devices such as audio and video equipments.

There are different standards and versions of Firewire viz. Firewire 400, Firewire 800, Firewire S800T, Firewire S1600, Firewire S3200 and so on. It supports speeds up to 3200 Mbps. IEEE 1394 is comparable to USB. It supports isochronous real time data transfer and used as serial bus for high speed communications.

Different USB types based on shape/design of cable and port are type-A, type-B, type-C. The different USB versions based on their capabilities (speed/power) and cable are USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen.1 and USB 3.1 Gen. 2.

Difference between Firewire and USB

Following table mentions difference between Firewire and USB.

Features Firewire USB
What is the Function ? High performance serial bus to connect devices to PCs/Laptops Plug and Play interface which allows computer to communicate with peripheral and other devices
Designed by whom and when ? 1986, Apple Inc. 1996, Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, NEC, Microsoft, Nortel
Length 4.5 meters 2 to 5 meters
Voltage 30 V (Maximum) 5 V (Maximum)
Current (maximum) 1.5 A 0.5 A (USB 2.0), 0.9 (USB 3.0)
Data rate or throughput 400 to 3200 Mbps 1.5 Mbps (USB 1.0), 12.48 Mbps (USB 1.1) , 480 Mbps (USB 2.0) 5 Gbps (USB 3.0) , 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen.1), 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen.2) till 20 Gbps with Superspeed+ USB
Connected devices 63 127 (USB 1.0/2.0)
Network type peer to peer master - slave
Wires/cable 4/6 pin STP/Standard 4-pin STP/Standard

Firewire vs USB Links

Advantages and disadvantages of Firewire
Difference between USB types
USB Type-C Interface
Advantages and disadvantages of USB

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