The IEEE 1394 standard defines a high speed serial interface that can be used to connect peripheral devices, for example, printers, scanners, and cameras, to your computer. Some common features of the IEEE 1394 standard are:
A simple plug and socket connection. This connection is visually similar to universal serial bus (USB) connections, although USB and IEEE 1394 are not compatible.
The capacity to have up to 63 devices connected serially (in series) to a single port.
Data transfer speeds of up to the rate of 400 MB per second. (The maximum speed is presently 200 MB per second.)
Thin wire cable.
Hot plug and play capability. (You do not need to turn off a computer to connect and use a peripheral device.)
The ability to chain devices together in a number of different ways without terminators or complicated setup requirements.
The ability for IEEE 1394-compliant devices to connect together without the use of a computer (for example, when you are dubbing video tapes).
Asynchronous communication for batch or packet data transfer and storage.
Isochronous communication for real-time voice and video transmission, and any other program that is better-suited for streaming data transfer.
Devices as far apart as 4.5 meters (nearly 15 feet) can be connected.