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The machine vision interface in our entire product line is 1394a and we are faced with camera obsolescence & replacement. I am conducting a study of the costs and risks of changing to 1394b vs GigE or USB3.0. Changing to 1394b is the least risk and cost however, it has been said by certain resources that FireWire support will be non-existent in the near future (2-3 yrs.). I cannot find any factual information to support this, only “hear-say”. Can somebody please provide facts on the life of 1394b or point me to where I can get them? Thanks.

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Perry West - President
Automated Vision Systems, Inc.
perry [at] autovis [dot] com
(408) 267-1746

Michael -- From what I can tell, GigE is more popular than 1394b. Also, many manufacturers are introducing USB3 cameras, but I see few if any companies introducing new 1394b products. Clearly, the trend is away from 1394b. That support for (availability of) 1394b cameras will go away is obvious. Just when a specific camera model will be unavailable/unsupported is a matter of speculation -- even for the manufacturer. As long as there is a market for the camera, the manufacturer will continue to sell it. The more likely scenario is that the image sensor chip will become unavailable. Then, unless the market for 1394b cameras is strong, the manufacturer will direct their engineering toward more popular and profitable camera redesigns. I would recommend you give serious consideration to alternative interfaces (i.e., GigE or USB3).

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