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The Death of Firewire (Hello USB 3.0)

by brocknation-2165282496121 / January 27, 2008 2:37 PM PST

I saw on Attack of the Show (AOTS) the other day the announcement of USB 3.0. If I correctly recall, it'll boast up to 3gb per second. The release date should be sometime this year or next. Is this the end of Firewire?

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The end of Firewire.
by udayan71 / January 27, 2008 4:22 PM PST

Much like the PowerPC chip, it turns out the tech industry isn't so keen on innovation as it is on standardisation. PowerPC had the potential to be far superior to x86 chips but that never really panned out. Other than the Xbox 360, I don't think anything uses a PPC variant.

Similarly, Firewire was hailed as the next USB but because USB is so commonplace, Firewire didn't really stand a chance; even FW800 which was much faster than USB 2.0

The hammer probably smashed that nail closed when MacBook Air came out with just 1 USB 2.0 port but FW was dying long before then.

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by Nicholas Buenk / January 27, 2008 4:48 PM PST

There is a new Firewire being worked on, 3.2 gigabit. USB 3 is 4.8 gigabit, but USB has a higher overhead than Firewire and is therefore slower, quote:
Although high-speed USB 2.0 runs at a higher signaling rate (480 Mbit/s) than FireWire 400, typical USB PC-hosts rarely exceed sustained transfers of 35 MB/s (280 Mb/s), with 30 MB/s (240 Mb/s) being more typical (the theoretical limit for a USB 2 high-speed bulk transfer is 53.125 MB/s). This is likely due to USB's reliance on the host-processor to manage low-level USB protocol, whereas FireWire automates the same tasks in the interface hardware. For example, the FireWire host interface supports memory-mapped devices, which allows high-level protocols to run without loading the host CPU with interrupts and buffer-copy operations.

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by shawnawhigham / September 21, 2010 10:16 PM PDT
In reply to: No...

Man! Nicholas Buenk! Where did you got this much info from?? Also can i take the initiave to take the feeds from your posting for my own website?? But cant find the RSS feeds link here!!

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Don't remember...
by Nicholas Buenk / September 23, 2010 8:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!!

That was 2 years ago. Probably wikipedia.

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It's just the death of multiple built-in FireWire ports...
by wheaton1 / September 26, 2010 2:37 AM PDT

Not the death of FireWire. If bandwidth alone were enough to cause a device protocol to die, PATA might have dwindled away much, much, much sooner as SCSI was around to allow for significantly faster connections with more than two devices. (And yet, PATA and SCSI still "live on".)

Seeing pre-built computers ship with fewer and fewer FireWire ports is not a sign of FireWire going away, but rather of manufacturers cutting costs. Since FireWire devices can daisy chain (you can connect one FireWire device to another FireWire device to another FireWire device up to 63 times), only one FireWire port is needed. Of course, if you really do have several FireWire devices, having multiple ports can save you some device juggling later as you need to add, remove, or move a FireWire device. Personally, I miss having two FireWire ports as standard on my Apple laptop choices. But, if you only have one FireWire port, you can still connect dozens of FireWire devices without adding a hub.

USB devices do not daisy chain. That is, you do not connect one USB device to another USB device to another USB device. But rather, they branch our from the motherboard or a USB hub and then stop there. So, the more USB ports on your computer, the better. If you only have one USB port, you can only connect one USB device unless you add a hub.

USB 3 is indeed fast! Especially compared to USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and even to FireWire400 and FireWire800 And thank goodness for it.

Or course, FireWire 1600 and FireWire 3200 are coming. And you might not even notice if you're just looking at the connector as it's the same as FireWire 800.

Happy device juggling!


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