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NEC unveils IEEE 1394 ‘Firewireless’ home LAN

Reaches standard 400Mbps data throughput -- well up on earlier wireless 1394 efforts

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NEC has developed an IEEE 1394-based wireless networking system designed to connect home computers to entertainment devices and other appliances. Each device can communicate with others at the standard 1394 data rate of 400Mbps at distances of up to 12m with a direct line of sight and 7m through walls. NEC isn't the first to tackle 1394 -- aka FireWire by Apple and iLink by Sony -- over a wireless connection. Last year, Canon demonstrated a prototype system that provided a data rate of 100Mbps. Canon has no plans to ship its technology as a commercial product, the company told Reuters. However, when it demoed the system last year, it said it would submit it to the 1394 Trade Association for possible inclusion in its own wireless spec., currently under development. NEC said products based on its 400Mbps technology will become available by the end of the year. Likely the company is waiting for devices to emerge that use the HAVi (Home AV Interface), which defines a home entertainment-oriented networking and interoperability system based on Java and 1394. Version 1.0 of the HAVi spec. was finalised and released earlier this month. ®

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