Newton, MA-based Cahners In-Stat Group expects 1999 to be the year IEEE 1394 moves beyond mere spec to broad-based product introductions ranging from PCs and PC storage to digital TVs and set-top boxes. By 2003, the high-tech market research firm anticipates that overall adoption of IEEE 1394 will reach high-volume shipments of nearly 200 million units across all market segments.
According to the group, the next 18 months will be a critical window of opportunity for IEEE 1394 in the consumer PC market. Consumer electronics manufacturers will also rollout a variety of new digital appliances using the interface. "Content protection and licensing issues have slowed what would have been an even faster adoption rate," said Mark Kirstein, vice president of research.
Several PC OEMs plan on adding IEEE 1394 to consumer PC platforms in 1999. Many companies, including Apple and Sony, are aggressively deploying IEEE 1394 to get a time-to-market advantage and achieve significant ease-of-use and A/V media processing advantages.
However, the research firm also identified several issues that continue to cloud the market and have slowed the adoption of IEEE 1394. USB 2.0 has emerged as an alternative PC interface and could become a major factor alongside IEEE 1394 in the 2001 timeframe. While content protection technology is in place, there remains significant business issues that could impact the IEEE 1394 adoption timeframe. Finally, reaction to intellectual property licensing issues has had a major impact on adoption of IEEE 1394.