FireGate presents a fully IEEE-1394b-2008 compliant PHY Layer implementation. The main PHY layer related functional blocks ensure functional standards compliance as well as interoperability with off-the-shelf physical layer devices. The PHY/Link layer interface has been optimized for performance and deviates from the standardized PHY/LLC interface. FireGate is optimized to work with FireLink which also supports these enhancements. FireGate was not designed to be paired with off-the-shelf Link layer devices; it is intended to be used with FireLink or a custom Link Layer implementation.
A key element of FireGate is its configurable PHY front end, i.e. the ability to customize several aspects of the PHY cable environment interface. During the configuration phase the total number of available PHY ports can be adjusted (max 16) and as well as the total number of PHY instances per FPGA device. Furthermore, the speeds supported by the PHY can be defined. The PHY speeds can be either predefined to support single network speeds (for example S100, S200, S400, ...). This reduces network speed negotiation times (only applicable if the entire network would use the same PHY). Alternatively, the PHY(s) can be configured to support speed ranges (e.g. S200 - S800) and limit the speed negotiation to those values).
Additionally, the PHY also contains patented improvements over standard 1394 implementations. DapTechnology has been one of the very first companies to actively advocate such functionalities within PHY devices.