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glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)The IEEE 1394 Bus
glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)IEEE 1394 Downloads

glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)"Analog Goes Digital" Presentation

glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)"IEEE-1394b

glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)Firewire ( IEEE-1394)
glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)Camera Link
glo_rightarrow_sm.gif (78 bytes)CMOS

Firewire Technology - IEEE-1394

If you are interested in the benefits of IEEE 1394 technology and want to see if it can improve your system performance, call us today!

The IEEE 1394 Bus

IEEE 1394a is the designation for a standard, high-performance serial bus. The bus design originated with Apple Computer as a diagnostic tool. The bus architecture is trademarked by Apple under the name "FireWire". In 1995, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standardized the specification for the bus. The specification number was 1394 - hence the name IEEE 1394. Some of the basic features of the bus are:

  • A data rate of up to 400 Mbps (this is expected to increase in the near future)
  • A packet based transmission protocol
  • Designed with multimedia in mind
  • Uses standard cables and connectors defined in the specification
  • Supports hot plug and unplug
  • Support multiple devices within the same bus

The 1394 Trade Association and the Digital Camera Specification

The 1394 Trade Association was formed to encourage the growth of devices that use the 1394 bus. Working groups of industry-experienced volunteers develop specifications by consensus based on the expertise of the participants. In 1998, a working group of the association issued the 1394-based Digital Camera Specification (current version is 1.30). The specification defines:

  • A number of standard features and how those features should be implemented in the camera
  • A number of standard video formats and frame rates
  • A flexible video format that allows for variable image sizes and frame rates
  • An external triggering method

In essence, the 1394 TA Digital Camera Specification (DCAM Spec) defines the standard features and characteristics of an industrial camera that is capable of operating on an IEEE 1394 bus. The specification maintains flexibility by giving manufacturers the ability to add "special features" within a framework defined by the specification. The trade association also periodically refines the specification to meet current and future user needs.


Users of industrial cameras compliant with the DCAM Spec will realize a number of benefits. First, since the cameras comply with a common standard, they are essentially plug and play. Many of the integration issues normally associated with using cameras from different manufacturers are avoided. Second, since the connectors, cables, and hubs used on the 1394 bus are all standardized, they are widely available from a number of manufacturers and are inexpensive. Finally, a simple, inexpensive interface board is used to interface the camera with the host PC. This eliminates the need for an elaborate frame grabber and does away with the problems often associated with integrating a camera and a frame grabber.

1394b technology builds on the strengths of 1394a and adds critical new capabilities, notably; added bandwidth – to 800 Megabits/second all the way, eventually, to 3.2 Gigabits/second. It incorporates networking capabilities over distances of 100 meters over CAT-5 and plastic optical fiber. It also improves overall network efficiency. These new features have been created with 1394a compatibility in mind, while maintaining the vital architectural characteristics of plug and play (PnP), peer-to-peer connectivity, and isochronous channels. This will keep 1394 in line with bandwidth demands currently required by CE, PC and peripheral applications, and ahead of competing standards.

IEEE 1394 Downloads

Basler has prepared an IEEE 1394 Technology Brief which explains the impact of IEEE 1394 technology on the camera user and gives examples of how this technology can be applied. We have also archived the latest version of the 1394 Trade Association Digital Camera Specification.

To download either of these documents, use the links below:

IEEE 1394 Technology Brief (116 kb - PDF File)

The IEEE 1394 technology downloads are in Adobe AcrobatTM PDF format. To read PDF files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat reader. This free reader can be downloaded from Adobe Systems.

"Analog Goes Digital" Presentation

Dr. Friedrich Dierks of Basler Vision Technologies prepared a presentation for the Vision Show 2002 in Stuttgart, Germany entitled "Analog Goes Digital". The presentation outlines why IEEE 1394 cameras, such as the Basler A600 Series, are making it more and more attractive for analog cameras users to migrate to the benefits of digital camera technology. To download the presentation in Adobe Acrobat™ PDF format, use the link below:

Analog Goes Digital Presentation (1.7 MB - PDF File)

To read PDF files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat reader. This free reader can be downloaded from Adobe Systems.

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