This Story Posted:
December 4th
9:15 AM/CST


Friday, December 4th

Matsushita Licenses FireWire From Apple
[9: 15 AM] Apple announced today that Matsushita has licensed Apple's FireWire technology for use in their semiconductors, consumer products and other applications. FireWire allows for high speed digital data transfers such as those required by hard drives and digital video signals. The technology, also called IEEE 1394, is expected to be included in Apple's PowerMac Pro line coming in the 1st quarter of 1999. In an endorsement of the technology, Namio Yamaguchi, director of Matsushita Electric Industrial's CE System LSI Development Center, said

"FireWire is poised to be the next big thing in digital consumer devices, simply because it is the best technology out there. Our licensing agreement with Apple means Panasonic semiconductor products will be ahead of the competition."

Matsushita's portfolio includes such consumer brands as Panasonic. The company is one of the largest consumer manufacturers in the world.

The Mac Observer Spin: FireWire was originally invented as a replacement for SCSI hard drive technologies. Since then it has become popular in the video, digital camera, and other related technologies. Selling a license for the technology to a monster company such as Matsushita will be a huge boost to the acceptance of FireWire as a mainstream technology. This move could also reduce in lower costs for future FireWire products as more companies begin competing in the market place.

The license will be a good revenue source for Apple which has continued to see its bottom line improving during the last 14 months. In the past, Apple has seldom been able to turn many of its technologies into revenue producing products. QuickTime and FireWire are hopefully signs of a new ongoing trend in this arena. It is imperative for Apple to be able to continue making money from its R&D efforts if it is to get back to its former prominence as one of the leading technology companies in the world.

Apple - Matsushita