Feeds

USB set to tackle 1394 peer-to-peer advantage

USB On-the-Go to eliminate host PC

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes

Universal Serial Bus will soon get the one feature that separates it from IEEE 1394: peer-to-peer operation.

The specification, dubbed USB On-the-Go, apparently has the backing of Palm, Microsoft, Intel, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard and others, though it's primarily being driven by TransDimension, which specialises on Bluetooth and USB host controller silicon. It is intended to be an adjunct to the current USB 2.0 spec.

When Intel first announced USB, back in 1996, 1394 proponents saw clear blue water between the two bus standards. The differentiator was speed - 1394, also known as FireWire and iLink, was considerably faster than USB, running at 400Mbps, compared to just 11Mbps for USB.

USB 2.0 changed that, by upping the bus' throughput to 480Mbps, but FireWire fans could always point out that while USB required a host, 1394 connections can be made directly between devices. USB 2.0 silicon is already sampling, with peripherals based on the new spec. due to ship during the first half of this year.

Now USB will get that feature too, through USB On-the-Go. Yes, it's a silly name, but it should finally allow, say, a USB digital camera to dump pictures straight to a USB printer.

The system won't make USB a true peer-to-peer bus. Instead, devices will negotiate with each other to elect an ad hoc host. The point is, though, the chain will not need to include a host PC.

The USB On-the-Go spec. has yet to be approved by the USB Integrators Forum, the standard's governing body. However, according to TransDimension's On-the-Go Web site, a preliminary specification is expected to be made available this summer. Assuming, of course, that the USB IF gives the spec. its blessing.

If that timeframe is kept, we could see a final specification a further six months or so down the line, with silicon sampling a year after that, probably mid to late 2002, based on the time it's taken to get USB 2.0 from draft to shipping product.

That leaves plenty of time for 1394 to become well established throughout the consumer electronics world, thanks to schemes like the widely supported 1394 and Java-based Home Audio Video Interoperability (HAVi) initiative. ®

Related Link

The USB On-the-Go homepage

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?