The different kinds of FireWire® connectors can be identified by the number of pins that they have, though a few different physical shapes are used as well. Two of the common versions of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394 standard are FireWire® 400 and 800. The numbers refer primarily to transfer speeds, but each standard also uses a different number of pins. FireWire® 800 also uses a connector type that is substantially different from the others, as it is more square in shape while the previous types were flat with a notch or a pointed end. Some FireWire® connectors use different configurations, though they are less common.
Each version of the FireWire® standard uses a unique number of pins, offers varying transfer speeds, and in some cases also makes use of connectors that are shaped differently. These different connectors are not always directly compatible with each other, due to the differing pin configurations, sizes, and physical shapes. All of the versions of the FireWire® standard are compatible though, which means it is possible to bridge different FireWire® connectors using a variety of adapters and cables.
FireWire The next connector is the IEEE 1394, also known as the FireWire port. FireWire functions much in the same fashion as a USB. It is used to connect things like digital cameras, external hard drives, scanners and others. Before purchasing an audio interface, the first step is to ascertain what type of communications your computer supports. Almost all modern computers feature at least two USB ports; however, FireWire is somewhat more limited to the pro audio and video environment, and many budget PCs will not support FireWire out-of-the-box.
The 9-pin connector is a rectangle with square corners. It has 5 pin contacts on one side, and 4 pin contacts on the other. This new connector type can be adapted to the older 4-pin and 6-pin connector. However, when adapted, the maximum transfer rate will be 400 Mbps. This type of connector is commonly found on Apple ® computers.
When FireWire® was first introduced, the connectors used four pins. This version of the standard is referred to as FireWire® 400, and it uses the smallest connector out of all the different versions of the standard. A variation on this connector type uses six pins instead, though the additional connections only provide power to external devices, and do not offer additional transfer speed. Both four and six-pin FireWire® connectors are referred to as alpha connectors, and the six-pin version is substantially larger.
The third type of FireWire® connector is typically known as a beta connector. This connector uses nine pins and is physically larger than either the four or six-pin versions. Beta connectors are used with FireWire® 800 devices, though they are backward compatible with the correct adapters. When a FireWire® 800 device that is designed to use a beta connector is plugged into a FireWire® 400 device or port, performance and transfer speeds will typically suffer.
There are a few other types of FireWire® connectors, including proprietary connector types that use different versions of the IEEE 1394 standard. One example is IEEE 1394c, which is a variation of the specification that is designed to use a traditional Ethernet connector and twisted pair cable. This version of the standard allows one port to function as both an Ethernet connection and an IEEE 1394c connection at the same time.
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A port is a physical docking point using which an external device can be connected to the computer. It can also be programmatic docking point through which information flows from a program to the computer or over the Internet.
Characteristics of Ports
A port has the following characteristics −
External devices are connected to a computer using cables and ports.
Ports are slots on the motherboard into which a cable of external device is plugged in.
Examples of external devices attached via ports are the mouse, keyboard, monitor, microphone, speakers, etc.
Let us now discuss a few important types of ports −
Used for external modems and older computer mouse
Two versions: 9 pin, 25 pin model
Data travels at 115 kilobits per second
Used for scanners and printers
Also called printer port
25 pin model
IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port
Used for old computer keyboard and mouse
Also called mouse port
Most of the old computers provide two PS/2 port, each for the mouse and keyboard
IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port
Universal Serial Bus (or USB) Port
It can connect all kinds of external USB devices such as external hard disk, printer, scanner, mouse, keyboard, etc.
It was introduced in 1997.
Most of the computers provide two USB ports as minimum.
Data travels at 12 megabits per seconds.
USB compliant devices can get power from a USB port.
Connects monitor to a computer's video card.
It has 15 holes.
Similar to the serial port connector. However, serial port connector has pins, VGA port has holes.
Connects to the computer's power cable that plugs into a power bar or wall socket.
Transfers large amount of data at very fast speed.
Connects camcorders and video equipment to the computer.
Data travels at 400 to 800 megabits per seconds.
Invented by Apple.
It has three variants: 4-Pin FireWire 400 connector, 6-Pin FireWire 400 connector, and 9-Pin FireWire 800 connector.
Types Of Hdmi Ports On Laptop
- Connects a PC's modem to the telephone network.
Firewire Cable Types
Connects to a network and high speed Internet.
Connects the network cable to a computer.
This port resides on an Ethernet Card.
Data travels at 10 megabits to 1000 megabits per seconds depending upon the network bandwidth.
Connect a joystick to a PC
Now replaced by USB
Digital Video Interface, DVI port
Connects Flat panel LCD monitor to the computer's high-end video graphic cards.
Very popular among video card manufacturers.
Types Of Firewire Ports In Italy
What Does Firewire Look Like
Sockets connect the microphone and speakers to the sound card of the computer.