Apple Wins an Emmy
- By John K. Waters
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has given an Emmy award to Apple Computer for its work on the FireWire high-speed connection. Apple received the academy's 2001 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award for FireWire's "material impact on the television industry" in a ceremony held at the Goldenson Theatre in Hollywood.
FireWire is Apple's version of a standard, IEEE 1394, high performance serial bus. It provides a single plug-and-socket connection to which up to 63 devices can be attached with data transfer speeds up to 400 Mbps. At 400Mbps, FireWire has more than 30 times the bandwidth of a USB connection.
Widely adopted by digital peripheral companies such as Sony, Canon, JVC and Kodak, FireWire has become something of an industry standard, and a key technology in the television industry for moving video on and off computers.
"Apple enabled the desktop video revolution with its invention of FireWire," said Jon Rubinstein, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in a media release. "Today, Apple builds FireWire into every computer it sells, and it is a key component of Apple's 'digital hub' strategy."
Apple developed FireWire in the mid-90s, and today it is standard issue on all Macs and an increasing number of PCs (Sony called it "iLINK"). Digital video users love the interface and it's now supported on a number of digital camcorders. Apple has leveraged the technology extensively with such software offerings as Final Cut Pro 2 and iMovie, digital video editing packages that have won serious fans among amateur and professional video producers.
Apple is not alone in its support for the 1394 standard. Currently, more than 170 vendors belong to the 1394 Trade Association. Computer companies backing FireWire include Adaptec, Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, NEC, Lexmark, Microsoft, Sharp, Sony, and Texas Instruments.
This Emmy is not Apple's first. Its 1998 "Think Different" ad campaign won for outstanding commercial.
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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached