Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th May 2009 14:34 UTC, submitted by James B
Hardware, Embedded Systems NEC has introduced the world's first USB 3.0 controller. "The muPD720200 device is a host controller for PCs and other digital devices, and is based on the new version of the SuperSpeed USB standard. Supporting the world's fastest USB transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps) of data, which is 10 times faster than previous USB 2.0 transfer speeds. The NEC Electronics device, as well as the standard, is fully backward compatible with the USB 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0 versions of the USB standard."
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I'm looking forward to these showing up
by polaris20 on Tue 19th May 2009 15:05 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

Hopefully they'll be run of the mill by the time I'm ready for another MacBook. Would love 5Gbps on an HD. It'll be interesting to see what happens with firewire at that point, since so many FW-centric devices have begun moving to USB already (video cameras being one).

Reply Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

FW has steadily declined, sadly. FW is dead, long live USB 3.0!

USB 3.0 is perfect for HD DVB ;)

Can't wait to build a new computer with a mobo sporting 8 USB 3.0 ports!

Reply Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

It is sad that Firewire is not that popular - even thou it is a superior design. The Firewire protocol is extremely flexible, can be daisy chained, doesn't require CPU usage, can be used for networking over TCP/IP and all importantly, can transfer more power down the wire for more high-power devices.

Just goes to show, without good marketing, any product (no matter how good) can loose market share.

Reply Score: 1

El_Exigente Member since:
2007-01-08


Just goes to show, without good marketing, any product (no matter how good) can loose market share.


Not quite correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire
"However, the royalty which Apple Inc. and other patent holders initially demanded from users of FireWire (US$0.25 per end-user system) and the more expensive hardware needed to implement it (US$1–$2), both of which have since been dropped, have prevented FireWire from displacing USB in low-end mass-market computer peripherals, where product cost is a major constraint."

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Not quite correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire
"However, the royalty which Apple Inc. and other patent holders initially demanded from users of FireWire (US$0.25 per end-user system) and the more expensive hardware needed to implement it (US$1–$2), both of which have since been dropped, have prevented FireWire from displacing USB in low-end mass-market computer peripherals, where product cost is a major constraint."


You're right but the penny pitching is getting to an extreme; it reminds me these days that printer companies won't even include a USB cable with the printer to 'save money' along with numerous other rip offs. I am not sure about the 25 cents (I think it might be for the use of the term 'firewire' than the actual technology given that it is an IEEE standard and not controlled by Apple) but the extra few dollars are due to the fact that it does not offload the processing to the CPU and thus incredibly when it comes to streaming large amounts of data and rendering it real time - something that would have been next to impossible years ago given how there would have been a balance between the processing of USB and processing of the incoming data.

Personally what I think is sorely lacking is with the external storage these days is the problem with reading the SMART information off the drive because I have had a couple of drives die because I assumed that all was going well with them but found they died. Had I been able to read the SMART status, I would have been able to see whether the drive was about to die. Apparently External SATA can do that but this facility should also should have been part of the USB 3.0 standard as well given how popular USB external hard disks are (especially self powered/USB powered mobile ones).

Reply Score: 2

Going to be sad
by nathbeadle on Tue 19th May 2009 16:47 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

From the sounds of things so far I'm the only one who is going to be sad to see FireWire get pushed out of the way even more than before. I hope it sticks around for the video and hard drive side of things.

There is so much more to FireWire than just the speeds... the smart devices not needing a computer as the middle man. I LOVE the ability to plug a firewire drive right into my HD Cam and have the footage go right to the drive. Can't do that with USB. And the offloading on the processor, I hope with USB 3 they figure out how to make things happen without being so processor dependent!!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Going to be sad
by madcrow on Tue 19th May 2009 17:22 UTC in reply to "Going to be sad"
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

I agree with you that FireWire has many positive things in its design, but in point of fact, most entry level implementations of FireWire don't really show these things off. I know by measuring CPU loads for example, that the cheap on-board FireWire port in my old Athlon XP board uses just as much CPU power as the USB ports. Given that I suspect that most people have a FireWire implemnentation rather like mine, for them there really isn't an advantage.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Going to be sad
by griffinme on Tue 19th May 2009 19:41 UTC in reply to "Going to be sad"
griffinme Member since:
2005-11-09

I hope with USB 3 they figure out how to make things happen without being so processor dependent!!


"Intel announces, demonstrates USB 3.0"
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/09/intel-announces-demonstr...

With Intel being one of the forces behind the development of USB 3.0 I wouldn't hold out much hope of that. To be honest, with the power of modern CPU's and being multi-core I doubt you would notice a difference. I saw a test one time where someone compared software RAID vs a separate controller board. The CPU was actually faster in most cases. And this was a couple of years ago with a single core CPU.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Going to be sad
by ggeldenhuys on Wed 20th May 2009 07:16 UTC in reply to "Going to be sad"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

+1
I love my firewire devices. And yes, the CPU load and data throughput on FW400 is much better that USB2.0 devices. I haven't tried FW800 yet.

As far as I understand the USB3 cables use fire optic and copper. Isn't that going to push the price of USB3 cables up tremendously?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Going to be sad
by ggeldenhuys on Wed 20th May 2009 07:28 UTC in reply to "Going to be sad"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

There is so much more to FireWire than just the speeds...

I can't agree more. I just found this bit of information on the net about Firewire S3200. Because the hardware device contains the firewire hardware, the existing FW800 port can be used for S3200 speeds. How cool is that! :-) With such good news, firewire should really push that in their marketing.

http://www.techiesouls.com/2008/12/03/usb-30-vs-firewire-3200/
FireWire 3200 has a maximum capability of a 3.2Gbps transfer rate, which is 1.6Gbps slower than USB 3.0. However, it should also be noted that the P2P (peer to peer) architecture can usually deliver a higher percentage of the maximum rate than the master/slave architecture of USB can. FireWire 3200 is also backwards compatible with FireWire 800, and you can even plug your new FireWire 3200 hardware into the old FireWire 800 ports and instantly get the new 3.2Gbps speed. FireWire still has an edge in power output over USB too, even after all the improvements, making it even more capable of charging items or powering them through the cables.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Going to be sad
by kaiwai on Thu 21st May 2009 02:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Going to be sad"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't agree more. I just found this bit of information on the net about Firewire S3200. Because the hardware device contains the firewire hardware, the existing FW800 port can be used for S3200 speeds. How cool is that! :-) With such good news, firewire should really push that in their marketing.

http://www.techiesouls.com/2008/12/03/usb-30-vs-firewire-3200/
FireWire 3200 has a maximum capability of a 3.2Gbps transfer rate, which is 1.6Gbps slower than USB 3.0. However, it should also be noted that the P2P (peer to peer) architecture can usually deliver a higher percentage of the maximum rate than the master/slave architecture of USB can. FireWire 3200 is also backwards compatible with FireWire 800, and you can even plug your new FireWire 3200 hardware into the old FireWire 800 ports and instantly get the new 3.2Gbps speed. FireWire still has an edge in power output over USB too, even after all the improvements, making it even more capable of charging items or powering them through the cables.


I'm really surprised that no one has jumped on the bandwagon with marketing along with, "want speed improvements with USB? throw out your old gear!". I know for me if I could upgrade performance without needing to throw away my old devices, it would be a big incentive for me to upgrade to the new version.

Firewire unfortunately is one of those pieces of technology that are superior in every regard but due to sloppy marketing - never really makes it beyond a niche area. I blame marketing because I truly believe that if end users saw those benefits and the savings as a result they would be more than happy to pay the extra $2 or so more for a computer if it saves them $400 on being able to keep their old firewire device and gain the performance benefits.

Edited 2009-05-21 02:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Free Windows device drivers, but...
by Thomas2005 on Tue 19th May 2009 19:50 UTC
Thomas2005
Member since:
2005-11-07

...no mention of Linux/*BSD drivers. I can understand them wanting to get their host controller into shipping products before the competition does, but how soon can we expect some documentation? In other words, how friendly is NEC Electronics with the FOSS community?

Reply Score: 1

christian Member since:
2005-07-06

...no mention of Linux/*BSD drivers. I can understand them wanting to get their host controller into shipping products before the competition does, but how soon can we expect some documentation? In other words, how friendly is NEC Electronics with the FOSS community?


Well, it implements the xHCI interface, so I guess it will just use the standard xhci linux driver being implemented by Intel:
http://sarah.thesharps.us/2008-12-07-13-35.cherry

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

...no mention of Linux/*BSD drivers. I can understand them wanting to get their host controller into shipping products before the competition does, but how soon can we expect some documentation? In other words, how friendly is NEC Electronics with the FOSS community?

Well, it implements the xHCI interface, so I guess it will just use the standard xhci linux driver being implemented by Intel:
http://sarah.thesharps.us/2008-12-07-13-35.cherry


I wonder where the wireless USB will fit into all of this and to what degree will we eventually see the USB specification/logo/working group will become the 'jack of all trades' with the attempt to come up with a single body to 'rule them all'. I know it will be of some benefit to have some consistency within the IT world but at the same time the attempt to try to be all things to all people will eventually leave no one happy as with any compromise.

Regarding USB 3.0, I'd like to see more things standardised; for example, there are usbvc 'compliant' cameras, but many don't operate unless you load a firmware into memory before hand (as with the case of many webcams bundled with computers) - things like that should be avoided by making vendors who want to use USB compatible to actually make their device conform to the specifications without the need of loading special 'drivers' and 'binaries' and 'firmware' but instead can be accessed using a bog standard driver that doesn't require any special tweaks.

This also goes for USB printers, there needs to be a single language which all printers support if they are going to be USB based; to avoid the problem of driver hell - heck, if it means developing the , "USB Printer Language" then I say go for it.

Basically what I am asking for is more standardisation of hardware so that there are basically no vendor drivers required simply to access hardware sitting on a USB port.

Edited 2009-05-21 03:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2