1394 and AS5643 IP Core solutions - FireLink Basic

FireLink® Basic

The FireLink® Basic is targeted for applications with up to S3200 data transmission requirements and for designs with a non-PCI Link Controller requirement. FireLink® was designed to meet the general purpose and IIDC camera markets with higher speed and IEEE-1394-2008 Beta support not typically covered by other chip sets such as the Texas Instruments GP2Lynx (TSB12LV32). The FireLink® Core therefore provides a seamless upgrade path to IEEE-1394-2008 Beta.

Targeted application

Several markets can make use of the FireLink® Basic Core including Aerospace & Defense, Industrial, and Consumer Electronics. As a special option, AS5643 (Mil1394) protocol support is planned for FireLink Basic. While current implementations require significant host software support, FireLink® will be able to support this layer with significantly better timing as well as reduced host resource utilization. Examples of typical applications in Aerospace & Defense for the FireLink® include command & control systems for space-based vehicles, missile-guidance platforms, fighter-aircraft flight-control, as well as its implementation in avionics & IFE platforms for business and commercial aircraft.

The industrial applications of FireLink® are quite broad and include robotics, machine vision, wide format digital printing and medical imaging. Finally, the FireLink® LLC Core is ideal for use in Consumer Electronics equipment such as Set Top Boxes, DVD peripherals and High Definition A/V equipment.

Key features

  • IEEE-1394-2008 Beta
  • Supports S100-S3200 transfer rates
  • IP-LLC with standard PHY-LLC interface
  • Integrated support for AS5643 (Mil1394) enhancements (pending)
  • Ideal for RNs, RIOs, NDBs, ...

Platform Availability

DapTechnology supports its IP cores on a wide variety of FPGA families. At the moment of writing the following platforms are supported but please don't hesitate to contact us for the very latest information:

  • Xilinx (Spartan, Artix, Kintex, Virtex, Zynq, ...)
  • Altera (Cyclone)
  • MicroSemi (IGLOO2, Smartfusion2)


Please contact DapTechnology directly to verify availability of specific functionality on your target platform!


FireLink is designed to be highly configurable. We can preadjust key functions and components as compilation parameters and so optimize the resources needed to meet customers needs. Such configuration parameters will be defined in close consultation with you so order to custom-tailor the solution. Please note that due to differences within the various FPGA platforms certain functions might not be supported on all target FPGAs. Please consult with our sales staff on availability.

Reference system

  • A complete Xilinx S3200 reference system is available, including a 4-lane PCI-express host adapter, an S3200 1394 analyzer and a peripheral development board which can be used by the customer to develop their products.
  • DapTechnology is currently working on a reference system for low speed (S100/S200/S400) Xilinx as well as Microsemi platforms.

Design features and benefits

There are several advantages when using FPGAs to implement a complete 1394 Link Layer. Some of these are:

  • Single-chip solution: Optimized Link Layer IP thus creating smaller solutions. Additional components (CPUs, encoders, etc) can be added to create a System On Chip (SOC) solution.
  • Optional debug and test features: Optionally the user can include debug and test features like BERT (Bit Error Rate Test) Low level data monitoring and recording
  • Field-upgradable: The used FPGAs are field upgradable thus allowing the addition new features or bug fixes, even if the device is already in the field.
  • Cost effective ASICS: Once a design is finalized an IP solution offers a very cost-effective path to spinning a custom ASIC. 

AS5643 & Mil1394

Several market segments can leverage the DapTechnology FireLink® IP Core due to the unique features of the solution. Good examples are Aerospace & Defense, Industrial and Consumer Electronics industries. As a special option, the FireLink® LLC Extended offers firmware Support for the SAE AS5643 (Mil1394) protocol. While current implementations require significant host software support, the FireLink® can support this layer with significantly better timing as well as reduced host resource utilization. Typical examples of applications in aerospace & defense for the FireLink® would include command & control systems for space-based vehicles, missile platforms, and fighter aircraft, as well as its implementation in avionics & IFE platforms for military, business and commercial aircraft.

FireLink® Basic Details


FireLink® Basic consists of a fully IEEE-1394b-2008 compliant Link Layer implementation. All LLC related functional blocks ensure functional standards compliance as well as interoperability with off-the-shelf physical layer devices (assuming PHY layer I/O compliance).

Essential to FireLink® Basic is its very simple host connectivity. Via simple 32 bit data/address bus R/W operations as well as control registers. Updates can be handled via a dual-ported RAM or direct register access. Since any communication with this DPRAM is host processor driven this interface is optimized for small/medium sized data (isochronous, asynchronous and PHY layer) packets as well as low bandwidth requirements. Just like sending large amounts of data via the I/O bus, an increased number of individual bus transactions negatively affect the overall interface performance. For transmission and reception of large isochronous streams (e.g. video and/or audio) alternate data paths are available by means of the ISO Transmit and Receive Ports. They allow connecting dedicated data generating/processing hardware directly to the transmit/receive engines of FireLink®.  As these dedicated ports are bypassing the host main processor they are not restricted by performance limitations of the main host interface and therefore guarantee optimized data rates.

An additional benefit is the ability to customize several functional elements of the core. Since not all 1394 implementations require a full-featured 1394 interface (e.g. a pure IPv4 (IP over 1394) or AS5643 implementation using only asynchronous messaging can reduce FPGA footprint requirements by leaving out certain functional blocks like isochronous data ports, Cycle Timer and transmit, etc. from the deployed netlist. Likewise, an isochronous data transmitting video camera can omit a RX iso port as it is a dedicated data streaming device and the general purpose RX and TX buffer can be held small.

Data Exchange Mechanism

In FireLink® Basic the packet data flow is processor driven, i.e. any received/transmitted packets have to be read from or written to a Dual-Ported RAM Buffer by a processor. The Dual Port RAM Buffer is located inside the core and is customizable in size to accommodate for the maximum packet size. This concept is intended for small core sizes.

Packets to be transmitted are written into the Isochronous or Asynchronous Transmit Buffer.

Isochronous packets can also be transmitted from the Isochronous Transmit Port.

Received Packets are stored in the Isochronous or Asynchronous Receive Buffer or are routed to an Isochronous Receive Port or the Asynchronous Receive Port.

FireLink® Basic and Mil1394

Currently DapTechnology is working on adding AS5643 (Mil1394) support to FireLink Basic. A release date is pending.

Please speak to our sales consultants about your specific needs.

FireLink® Basic media files

Demo setup used at VISION 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany. Setup successfully demonstrated video streaming at S3200 via a 10m 1394b cable. See the press release for more details.

Cockpit Demo - displayed fist during SAE Meeting 2017. Control and Display units are design using FireCore Basic (which consists of FireGate and FireLink Basic)

FireLink® Basic documentation


FireESDK Embedded Development Kit Datasheet

Download full FireESDK datasheet as a PDF


Manual & Design Guideline

Available under NDA only.
Please send an email to sales(at)daptechnology.com for more information.

FireLink® Basic sales info

FireLink Basic License Types

FireLink Basic NetList
Development License

Status: active
Codes: ECCN: 3D991,  HST: N/A

FireLink Basic Source Code
Development License

Status: active
Codes: ECCN: 3D991,  HST: N/A

FireLink Basic Deployment
Deployment License

Status: active
Codes: ECCN: 3D991,  HST: N/A

Warranty (IP)

Standard: 12 months, limited.

Options: Additional 1-year Support packages may be purchased.


All IP products will be supported on a 24 hours response basis and free of charge during the warranty period. For support questions please contact: sales(at)daptechnology.com

Of course you can also call us during our office hours from 9:00 until 17:00 hours (GMT +1:00). Contact Info

Price Info / Quote Request

Please contact sales(at)daptechnology.com for current pricing.

Country Distributor Phone URL
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Japan Nacelle Co. Ltd. +81-3-5921-5099 www.nacelle.co.jp
United States of America DapUSA, Inc +1 480 422 1551 www.dapusa.com
South Korea Realtimewave Co. Ltd. +82-31-698-2980/2 www.realtimewave.com
all other countries Dap Technology B.V. +1-514-453-4111 www.daptechnology.com

Click here for a more detailed listing of our Sales Representations.

USA Representatives

For the U.S.A., we have as representatives:

Representative Territory Phone URL
Dap USA Office Arizona Entire United States of America +1 480 422 1551 www.dapusa.com


To place an order for DapTechnology products, please print one of the following order forms and email it to the corresponding email address:

Dap USA, Inc.
Download order form

Or contact us by phone: +1 480 422 1551

Rest of the world:
Dap Technology B.V.
Download order form

Or contact us by phone: +1 480 422 1551