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Firewire motion project nears completion

01 May, 2003

Firewire motion project nears completion

The group of automation and motor manufacturers developing a high-speed industrial communication standard based on the "Firewire" protocol, hopes to complete development and testing in time for the SPS/IPC Drives show in Nuremberg, in November.

The aim of the 1394 Automation group is to define a technology to link motion controllers based on the IEEE 1394 serial bus, known widely as FireWire. The 400Mb/s bus was originally popularised by Apple Computer for connecting video equipment to personal computers.

The Fraunhofer research institute in Germany is working on the specification, implementation, and testing of an industrial version of the FireWire protocol, and is expected to implement the final specification in software in time for the Nuremberg show.

The 1394 group has recently added several new members, gained official legal status, and launched a Web site. Some recent 1394 product announcements include an interface to Wago`s 750 I/O system, a programmable frequency controller from Stöber, and a motion controller from Nyquist. Fibre optic links capable of transmitting FireWire at 1.6Gb/s are said to be coming soon.

Other members of the group include Eurotherm Drives, maxon motor, Control Techniques, Leroy Somer, and Kollmorgen Seidel.

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