Industrial Condition Monitoring and Control

Why use FireWire for industrial monitoring and control?

These applications require high reliability, high bandwidth, and guaranteed real-time transport of data streams.

In distributed monitoring systems, it is essential that events can be acquired synchronously between multiple nodes and that they can be precisely time-stamped (

For control applications, the same QoS is essential in assuring that robotics motion vectors reach the destination device in time and that the receiving device has a precise concept of network time (<40ns), so operations can be carried out at the exact time they are required.

IEEE1394 is the only viable standard supporting these requirements. It has the concept of network time and QoS (Isochronous) built into the lower hardware layers. Those features are not afterthoughts; they have been part of the IEEE1394 specification since its inception in 1995. The recent IEEE1394-2008 revision adds new physical layer options. At this point, the protocol supports STP, UTP (Cat 5/6/7), Coax, GOF, and POF -- and commercially available physical layer chips exist for all types today.

Benefits of using Firewire for condition monitoring and robotics

  • High reliability, BER 10-12
  • Network time with 40ns precision
  • QoS, asynchronous and isochronous services
  • Bandwidth allocation scheme
  • Time-stamped streaming (IEC61883-6)
  • Multiple physical layers
  • Widely adopted in industrial applications (IIDC) with defined industrial grade connector options.