Feeds

NEC brings 1394 to PDAs

Pump movies through your Palm (one day...)

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

NEC is bringing IEEE1394 - aka FireWire, aka iLink - to PDAs with a low power controller chip.

Of course, you have to ask why a PDA user would need a high-speed - 400Mbps - digital data bus, but it's not a daft as it might at first sound.

Well, for a start, adding 1394 to a PDA allows it to host consumer electonics devices such as digital cameras, allowing users to load and store personal photo albums, now that colour screens and decent amounts RAM aren't so rare. There's also the possibility of much faster data synchronisation.

What appeals to us, however, is the prospect of hooking a PDA into a 1394-based home entertainment network (fixed or wireless) and using, say, a future Palm m505-style device to watch movies streamed from the DVD player downstairs in the living room.

NEC has launched two PDA-oriented 1394 chips: the charmingly named uPD72873 and uPD72874. Both consume 62mA of current during operation - most alternative chipsets draw over 100mA - and 0.3mA during standby. They both operate at 3-3.6V. The uPD72873 is a two-port product - the uPD72874 supports three ports.

We're not sure whether they're sufficiently low-power for your average Palm, but NEC's move is in the right direction, and we could yet see 1394 on more multimedia-oriented PDAs, such as PocketPC devices and Sony's PalmOS-based Clié line.

NEC will be shipping samples of the chips in August for ¥1500 ($12) and ¥2000 ($16), respectively. ®

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.