Molex HSAutoLink Fully Supports 1394 Copper Automotive Specification

Molex Incorporated (NASDAQ, MOLX and MOLXA) announces that its HSAutoLink[tm] cable connection system fully supports the new 1394 Trade Association Automotive specification The new specification, which was introduced in July last year, extends the original IDB-1394 Automotive Standard that stipulates the use of optical media to include operation over cabling media.

HSAutoLink is already well established in vehicle media applications and with the additional support for the new 1394 Copper Automotive specification extends the range into other critical vehicle applications. The Molex HSAutoLink shielded twisted pair cable connection system optimises the use of the 1394 (FireWire[tm]) standard infotainment and telematic devices, as well as safety camera, automotive management, service, diagnostics and other in-vehicle applications.

HSAutoLink is the emerging high-speed data bus for vehicles. The data bus encompasses technologies used in other markets, such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS), 1394 and Ethernet. Molex has packaged an economical and widely deployed 5 pin shielded connection system from the consumer market into a more rugged connector system to meet the car manufacturers’ mechanical requirements, as well as the stringent requirements of USCAR, an umbrella organization of Chrysler LLC, Ford and General Motors formed to conduct cooperative, pre-competitive research. HSAutoLink provides the features and mechanisms needed for high-speed extensions with the ability to signal over single-hop distances of up to eight meters using as many as five in-line connectors.

Technical specifications and deployment details on the new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification are available from the 1394 Trade Association. The specification applies to embedded vehicle system networks and ICs, allowing the attachment of clusters of embedded 1394 devices. It also includes a comprehensive section on power management improvements.

“The new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification allows car manufacturers to use copper media in a cost affective manner, over distances that were initially felt to be unachievable in a single link—let alone those with multiple links,” said Mike Gardner, Technical Marketing Manager for Comfort and Infotainment at Molex and one of the chapter leaders of the 1394 Automotive Work Group. “With its development and verification work on the new standard, Molex engineers have made the HSAutoLink product line fully compliant with the 1394 Copper Automotive Specification.”

“This significant breakthrough fully enables the feature-rich information and entertainment systems car manufacturers are seeking to deploy in their vehicles,” continued Gardner. “Molex’s shielded twisted pair 1394 copper cabling solution meets the demands of car manufacturers’ for 800 megabits/second transmission speeds on eight-meter cabling. Data can also be transmitted at 400 megabits/second.”

The new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification highlights the value of using FireWire in vehicle wiring. As James Snider, Executive Director of the 1394 Trade Association noted: “We are now at the threshold of a new generation of in-vehicle systems.” Our association is playing a major role in the development of these systems.”

FireWire can be used for a variety of applications, including entertainment systems, seat and mirror positioning, heating/air conditioner settings, lane-change cameras, and rear-view cameras. Car manufacturers that helped develop the new 1394 Copper Automotive Specification included Ford, Honda, Nissan, PSA, Renault and Daimler.

According to Ricardo Wong, Assistant Manager for Multimedia Planning at Nissan Corp.’s Advanced Engineering Center, the new specification provides practical examples of attenuation budget with explicit indication of required electrical signal levels on the transmitter side. “The specification addresses noise evaluations at the system level and the component level,” he said. “Its proof-of-concept played a very important role in the evaluation and understanding of the main features of each of the connector and cable technologies.”

For more information on HSAutoLink, please visit, or contact Molex by email at

About 1394 Trade Association
The 1394 Trade Association is a global organization located in Dallas, TX, dedicated to the advancement of the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard.

FireWire is a trademark of Apple, licensed to the 1394 Trade Association.

About Molex Incorporated
Molex Incorporated (NASDAQ: MOLX AND MOLXA) is a 70-year-old global manufacturer of electronic, electrical and fibre optic interconnection systems. Based in Lisle, Illinois, USA, the company operates 45 manufacturing locations in 17 countries.

Molex® is a registered trademark of Molex Incorporated. HSAutoLink[tm] is a trademark of Molex Incorporated.