Taiwan – Recent developments in FireWire are fueling the production of interconnect products in Taiwan. With the release of new standards by the 1394 Trade Association (1394TA), suppliers are scrambling to break into new markets and tap a wider application range.
Also known as FireWire, the IEEE 1394 interface is widely used in A/V and computer products, and is now gaining ground in the automotive, networking, home entertainment, industrial cameras, aerospace and defense sectors.
Taiwan's leading suppliers of connectors and cable assemblies are launching new models that support 1394TA's new standards. These companies—Comoss Electronic Co. Ltd, Elka International Ltd, Advanced Connectek Inc., Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. Ltd and Inventec Corp.—are members of 1394TA.
On 1394TA's drawing board are higher-speed S6400, and singlemode-fiber support. "Another potential project is to update the POF specifications to include new, higher-performance fibers covered by IEC 60793-2-40 and improved connectors such as the small-multimedia interface (SMI) connector," Les Baxter, current chairperson of the IEEE 1394 committee.
Taiwan on development forefront
From its origins as a high-speed serial bus, IEEE 1394 is now regarded as "a full-fledged LAN," according to Baxter. New versions of IEEE 1394 feature increased speed, optimized interface and enhanced functionality. The networks now support higher bit rates: the S100 at 100Mbps and S3200 at 3.2Gbps throughput, respectively, ideal for interface involving huge volume or time-critical data.
One of the first Taiwan companies to release devices that support S3200 is Comoss. The company produces products for small multimedia interface (SMI), such as IEEE 1394b for SMI OE converters, SMI transceivers, SMI connectors and SMI patch cords. It manufactures components and complete solutions for HDTVs, set-up boxes, DVD recorders and computer products.
Comoss has completed 1394TA's compliance test early in 2007, according to managing director Stanley Tsai. He says that Comoss is developing new products for applications in industrial equipment, security devices, media and storage products, and home network systems.
Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.