1394 and AS5643 IP Core solutions - FireLink Extended

FireLink® Extended

The FireLink® Extended IP Core is targeted at applications with up to 3200Mbps data transmission and high data throughput requirements. FireLink® Extended features OHCI compliant DMA engines and support non-PCI, PCI and PCIe host bus interfaces.

Targeted application

Several markets can make use of the Firelink® Extended Core including Aerospace & Defense, Industrial, and Consumer Electronics. As a special option, the FireLink® LLC offers firmware support for the AS5643 (Mil1394) protocol. While current implementations require significant host software support, FireLink® can 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. Specifically the Extended version targets all implementations that try to benefit from PCI-based OHCI implementations.

Key features

  • IEEE-1394-2008 Beta
  • Supports S100- S3200 transfer rates
  • IP-Link Layer 1394b
  • Support for OHCI and Extended OHCI
  • Integrated support for AS5643 (Mil1394) enhancements
  • Replacement for existing Silicon
  • Ideal for VMCs, CCs and Recorders

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 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.

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 of 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. 


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® Extended Details


FireLink® Extended and Basic both contain the same LLC related functional blocks and with that ensure functional standards compliance as well as interoperability with off-the-shelf physical layer devices (assuming PHY layer I/O compliance).

The big difference between the two versions lies in the host connectivity interface. FireLink® Extended utilizes the architectural and performance-based benefits of the DMA-capable communication interface. DMA transfers copy blocks of memory from one device to another and, while the CPU initiates the transfer by issuing a DMA command, it does not execute it. Advanced bus designs such as PCI typically use bus mastering DMA where the device takes control of the bus and performs the transfer itself. In an embedded processor or multiprocessor system-on-chip, it is a DMA engine connected to the on-chip bus that actually administers the transfer of the data. Another difference is that the Extended version does not include iso ports as the DMA mechanism efficiently handles the iso data transfer.

FireLink® Extended uses such an advanced DMA-enabled interface. And FireStack®  - DapTechnology’s own IEEE-1394 software stack – takes this concept even further with its consistent utilization of zero-copy data handling mechanisms. Together they form a very powerful combination aimed at complete system throughput optimization as well as minimization of system latencies and resource utilization.

Data Exchange Mechanism

In the Extended version the packet data flow is DMA driven. It is an OHCI compliant implementation with optional extensions using descriptors and packet buffers. The LLC’s DMA Engine handles the transfer to/from a FIFO Buffer for receiving and sending packets automatically, enabling high bandwidth systems. The user creates lists of packets to be sent and/or cyclic buffers for packets to be received. The FIFO is located inside the core and its size is customizable to accommodate host bus latency. This concept is ideal for high-bandwidth applications and reduces processor load.

Packets to be transmitted are read from a chain of packets stored in host memory. There may be a separate chain for Asynchronous packets and each channel for isochronous packets.

Received packets are stored in chained buffers which are prepared in host memory. A new buffer can be used for each packet, or multiple packets can be stored in one buffer. For certain applications, like camera streaming, the LLC is capable to stream the packet payload immediately into video buffers, with an absolute minimum of processor overhead

FireLink® Extended and Mil1394

As the first vendor worldwide, DapTechnology offers a very unique, but extremely powerful addition to its standard 1394b link layer IP core (extended version only). Our active participation in SAE ASD AS-1A3 standards committee together with the close collaboration with many adopters of the this standard allows DapTechnology to, not only develop a fully standards-compliant extension to the LLC, but also go beyond and/or deviate from the current AS5643 standard.

The AS5643 package is designed to offload the AS5643 support from the host processor.  The following features are supported in firmware:

  • AS5643 Protocol timing
  • STOF Generation: Accuracy: 0.3 msec
  • TX Frame Offset Time: 0.3 msec
  • RX Frame Offset Time Stamps: Accuracy : 0.3 msec
  • AS5643 Protocol encapsulation
  • Vertical Parity Check Insertion and Verification
  • Hardware RX Filter on ASM MessageID and/or Channel

Compared with other implementations using off-the-shelf 1394 LLC silicon (and AS5643 support implemented in SW) this AS5643 extension to the extended version of FireLink drastically improves the overall system performance, offloads the host processor and guarantees timing deadlines that otherwise can only be accomplished with real-time operating systems.

FireLink can also be paired with FireGate. With their respective AS5643 extensions they form the perfect PHY/LLC system on chip (SOC) solution for typical aerospace applications. Please contact DapTechnology if your requirements go beyond the current AS5643 specification. The flexible architecture of the AS5643 extensions allows for the integration and support of features/functions that were not considered in the AS5643 standard as they are not supported by standard silicon. Examples could be static LinkIDs (instead of the very dynamic NodeIDs), isochronous stream acknowledgements, Bus Reset suppression and static nodeID assignments (only suitable fully deterministic systems) as well as full System Integrity Management.

AS5643 Messaging

The AS5643 solution takes full advantage of the OHCI-like system architecture of the Extended version of the FireLink®. From an applications point of view the OHCI-like descriptor block model is perfectly suited for powerful transmission link lists for isochronous stream packets. Part of the descriptor is a 16-bit timing field which allows for a precise time adjustment for AS5643 transmit offset requirements. Additionally, the descriptor can be run in a looped mode in case a device has to transmit in every AS5643 time frame.

The same mechanism also allows transmitting messages from a single device but utilizing different node specific time slots. Such transmission lists can be perfectly used for simulation projects that may want to simulate an entire network’s traffic without physically using multiple bus devices.

FireLink® Extended media files

Cockpit Demo - displayed first during SAE Meeting 2017. Laptop simulates Vehicle Control Computer with FireTrac, which uses FireLink Extended.

FireLink® Extended 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® Extended sales info

FireLink Extended License Types

FireLink Extended NetList
Development License

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

FireLink Extended Source Code
Development License

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

FireLink Extended 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
China BEIJING CESITEK CO., LTD. +86 10 84177715 www.cesitek.com
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.
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Rest of the world:
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Or contact us by phone: +1 480 422 1551