SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 1997 — Microsoft Corp., with industry support, today announced the availability of three draft specifications that will enable independent hardware vendors (IHVS) to build a new generation of IEEE 1394-compliant devices integrating PC and consumer electronics functions. The three specifications provide standardization for enhanced multistreaming performance, integration of IEEE 1394 in PCs for connection of consumer electronics and PC peripheral devices, and for device power management on IEEE 1394.
The new specifications are endorsed by leading IHVs and consumer electronics manufacturers including Adaptec Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd., Philips Semiconductors Inc., Sony Electronics Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Toshiba Corp., which are now planning devices based on them. The first IEEE 1394-compliant devices are expected to come to market later this year. To facilitate rapid development of compliant devices, Microsoft is now offering a beta developer kit for IEEE 1394 device drivers, available as part of the preview the Microsoft® Win32® Driver Model device driver kit (DDK).
“We are pleased to be working with Microsoft on the development of audio standards for the Win32 Driver Model, universal serial bus and 1394 Audio,” said Edward Anchel, chairman and president of Altec Lansing Technologies Inc. “These developments will result in the seamless integration of high-quality multichannel digital playback systems, USB-connected speakers and a variety of additional audio peripherals in future PCs, convergent technology products and communication devices.”
“Texas Instruments is very excited about 1394. We pioneered the first silicon solutions for 1394. Our Extensa Notebook PC was the first to have a 1394 port, and now we’re producing a very low-cost, high-performance camera for the PC market,” said Larry Blackledge, bus solutions business manager at Texas Instruments. “These new specifications enhance the user and developer experience. Texas Instruments is firmly behind the open host controller interface (OHCI), 1394A and Power Management specifications. As the 1394 silicon solutions leader, we’ll soon be introducing products that make use of these enhancements.”
“As the FireWire market heats up, it is exciting to see significant players like Microsoft endorsing the IEEE 1394 standard,” said Robin Selden, general manager of Adaptec’s advanced media products group. “Adaptec’s robust 1394 hardware and software solutions support Windows-based systems, and Microsoft’s announcement complements our commitment to accelerating the adoption of 1394.”
“Microsoft is committed to providing IEEE 1394 support in future versions of Microsoft Windows® and Windows NT® ,” said Bill Veghte, group manager, Windows operating systems division, Microsoft. “This high-speed external serial bus helps deliver on the Simply Interactive PC (SIPC) vision, and is a key step to provide connectivity and convergence of PCs and consumer electronics products.”
The three specifications now available in draft form are the following:
Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) for 1394, version 0.9 enables development of standard PC-host connection hardware and the Microsoft Windows operating system drivers.
The P1394A proposal defines advances to the IEEE 1394-1995 specification for arbitration accelerations, enhancing multistreaming performance for concurrent PC I/O and consumer AV applications that offer the real-time interactivity needed for compelling consumer applications.
1394 Trade Association Specification for Power Management , version 1.0x allows PCs to automatically allocate and deallocate cable power and manage the power state of devices based on seamless integration of cable- or self-powered devices on a IEEE 1394 high-speed serial bus. This specification defines the power interfaces a device will require to co-exist with other devices. For example, it provides support of OnNow applications with protocols for remote waking of PCs, battery status reporting and processing of asynchronous power change requests from a device when complete.
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For IEEE 1394
“Harman International is pleased to be among the first companies to adopt an IEEE 1394-compliant strategy. We see a rich opportunity for application of 1394 in our professional products, many of which now utilize Ethernet, FDDI and proprietary network technologies. In addition, we are excited about the potential for use of 1394 in our consumer products (under our JBL, Infinity, Harman Kardon, Mark Levenson and Citation brands), especially as whole house networks emerge as a natural outgrowth of our current multiroom audio business.”
– Michael Watts
President of Harman’s Interactive Group
Chairman of the Harman Advanced Technology Council
“These emerging standards will be a great step to enlarge both the consumer electronics market and the computer market. Microsoft’s Win32 Driver Model architecture enables connectivity of our devices to computers with the IEEE 1394 interface. Yamaha is firmly committed to support the Win32 Driver Model and supporting standards, as they will save us a great amount of time for development of drivers.”
– Bob Starr
General Manager/Director of Sales and Marketing
Yamaha Systems Technology
“IBM has supported IEEE 1394 since its inception and is the leading provider of 1394 chips. The IBM PC Company will be one of the first to ship 1394 in its systems. Jerry Marazas chaired the IEEE Work Group, which developed and published the standard in 1995. Lee Wilson presently chairs the 1394 OpenHCI Special Interest Group. With the recent convergence on 1394.B as the Gigabit extension, we believe this technology will provide higher bandwidth and backward compatibility for our customers.”
– Trey Smith
Director of Technology
IBM’s PC Company
“Toshiba is expecting that the IEEE 1394 interface will be a major peripheral interface for the computer industry and is pleased to have a technology demonstration with Microsoft at WinHEC ’97.”
– Rod Keller
General Manager of Disk Product Division
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.