The FireWire (IE 1394) market grew by 300 per cent in 1999, new research shows.

The growth is sparked by a surge in peripherals and devices manufacturers moving to the standard, research by the Cahner In-Stat Group shows.

George Leptos, of LaCie, confirms the trend. "Sales of our FireWire devices are beginning to overtake our USB ones. Consumers want the speed advantages of FireWire based devices."

The Cahner In-Stat study warns that the emergence of the standard, even at this stage, still has obstacles. The report said: "The roll-out of FireWire into PCs and consumer electronics devices impacts industries ranging from PC and consumer electronics manufacturers, to TV, cable, and satellite broadcasters, to movie and recording studios." The danger, according to the group, lies in potential industry conflicts generated by the adoption of the standard.

The company also warns that emerging standards, such as USB 2.0, and a lack of current applications for FireWire pose a threat to its market potential.

The technology was invented by Apple, and developed as a standard by a group of companies, including Sony, which uses it in its DV cameras and PlayStation2 consoles.

Total shipments for devices with FireWire ports grew to over 12 million units in 1999, from 3.5 million in 1998. This growth was primarily driven by the adoption of the standard in portable and desktop computers - a move in which Apple led the industry.