Linked by Fran van der Merwe on Mon 5th Jul 2010 18:13 UTC
Internet & Networking Audio and Video professionals swear by it, but if Microsoft sticks with its plans, Firewire may not be supported in Windows 8. This is following an industry trend with, for example, Apple itself phasing out firewire support in recent years.
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Alex Forster
Member since:
2005-08-12

Nothing in the leaked slides says that. FTA: "Windows 8 will provide a better support for USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 + HS – and there are no indications of Firewire 1394 meaning that we might wave goodbye to this port". That is, this blogger who wrote about the leaked slides thinks that, because Firewire was not mentioned, it might not be supported - which is a huge, crazy leap to make.

Edited 2010-07-05 18:25 UTC

Reply Score: 13

USB cannot replace FW, imo...
by apoclypse on Mon 5th Jul 2010 18:48 UTC
apoclypse
Member since:
2007-02-17

Sorry, but anyone who knows about audio or video know that the performance difference between USB2 and FW is not negligible. There is a real discernible difference. Especially in audio interfaces. I have yet to see a USB audio interface get lower latency than a FW one. Its due to the technology behind each respective interface. USB as its name implies is a serial bus, meaning it does things serially like an old serial cable. It sends stuff up and then sends stuff down. The speed of transfer almost wholly depends on your cpu and even then the maximum bitrate is only theoretical. I've never been able to transfer anything on a USB harddrive at the reported 400MB/s bitrate they claim. Firewire is also serial but due to the inclusion of chipsets in the computer as well as the device itself, transfer bitrates are more consistent, imo.

Whenever Apogee starts using USB3 is when I'll move to the new interface, otherwise I'm perfectly happy with FW400/800, it still runs circles around USB2. Especially when transferring data to and from a harddrive. What we really need is lightpeak. Something like that would be great for audio and video.

Reply Score: 3

RE: USB cannot replace FW, imo...
by ssokolow on Mon 5th Jul 2010 18:57 UTC in reply to "USB cannot replace FW, imo..."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

For people who know more about hard drives and technical terminology, USB (at least in 1.x and 2.x) uses PIO while Firewire uses DMA.

(For the slightly less technical, USB requires the CPU to shuffle bits around like ye olde IDE/ATA controllers while Firewire, like modern IDE/ATA controllers, just needs the CPU to set aside some memory that the device can write into on its own, independent of the CPU)

Reply Score: 3

evert Member since:
2005-07-06

Dunno, but eSATA beats both FireWire and USB. For external harddisks, eSATA is the only serious connection method.

My PC has FW400 ports and in the past, I used it for external harddisks, and I'm still using it for my digicam. I love FireWire, but not enough to justify its use between USB and eSATA. And with new connectors on the horizon (USB3, lightpeak), it makes sense to phase out FireWire. Although, I have to admit, the connector was more durable and solid than USB or the fragile eSATA connector.

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

eSATA is better for connecting harddrives, true.

But for connecting other devices (video camera, soundcard, external mixer, etc), FW400 is better than USB 2.x, and FW800 has no competition.

Each connector has a role to play, none is universal:
* USB 1.x is best for mice, keyboards, joysticks, etc that don't need a lot of bandwidth,
* USB 2.x is best for things like flash sticks, memory card readers, digital cameras, etc that have middling bandwidth requirements
* FW is best for things that need low-latency, high-speed data transfers like video equipment, audio equipment etc where you can work with the data on the device
* eSATA is best for connecting external harddrives, as it works just like a normal SATA connection

IOW, use the best tool for the job. Yes, it would be nice to replace all peripheral connectors with a single connector, but USB is not it.

Reply Score: 4

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

For people who know more about hard drives and technical terminology, USB (at least in 1.x and 2.x) uses PIO while Firewire uses DMA.


Wrong. USB controllers use DMA as well.

Reply Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Sorry, but anyone who knows about audio or video know that the performance difference between USB2 and FW is not negligible. There is a real discernible difference. I've never been able to transfer anything on a USB harddrive at the reported 400MB/s bitrate they claim


I can't agree more. I use FW400 for my external hard drives, and avg throughput is way higher than USB. The external harddrive dock I use, has USB2 and FW400 support.

Not to forget that FW devices can be daisy-chained. Plugging one into the other.

Also FW800 and FW3200 will have the same connectors, and any FW800 device plugging into a FW3200 port will run and FW3200 speed, without requiring new external devices. Automatic upgrade - how cool is that!

Then I can also mention that I run FW400 on a 10m cable without problems in a digital photo studio. USB2 definitely not!

Oh, and you can also plug for example a firewire hard drive into a Video Camera, without the need of a computer. Because Firewire is implemented in the hardware devices themselves, they can communicate without the need of a PC.

FireWire wins hands down. The only thing I don't like about FireWire is the FW400 mini port/connector. They are difficult to plug things into, but the bigger connectors are very nice and sturdy.

Reply Score: 5

REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

i pretty much echo everything you've said. With my FW800 WD HDD the transfer speed and general use feels pretty much like an internal hdd.

USB2 though is a different store with it's almost sine wave transfer system or bursting the data across. Also the taxiation on the CPU is a lot lot higher even with a Quad Core. Sure a single USB2 HDD is no problem but performing a transfer to 2+ drives you really start to notice (Windows 7 x86 2GB RAM Intel Q6600 Quad Core) (Also when i say notice i don't mean a complete system slow down, i mean that you see the cpu load rising.

Yes USB is very compatable but in real world use and tests even FW400 is a better option than USB2.

I would have to say that im more interested in FW3200/light peek than USB3. I just wish there was a way apple would/could push the use of FW more with it's own products and with other vendors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: USB cannot replace FW, imo...
by sj87 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 04:25 UTC in reply to "USB cannot replace FW, imo..."
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

-- even then the maximum bitrate is only theoretical. I've never been able to transfer anything on a USB harddrive at the reported 400MB/s bitrate they claim.

Nobody claims USB 2.0 could do 3 Gbps, only you. The theoretical max is 480 Mbps but yea, they kinda miss 50 % of it in reality.

This piece of news is only FUD. There's no trouble to pack the same generic FireWire driver with Windows 8 they've packed with Vista and W7. And that still wouldn't keep users from installing the vendor-spesific driver that comes with their FW cards.

Edited 2010-07-06 04:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What?
by Macrat on Mon 5th Jul 2010 19:20 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

"This is following an industry trend with, for example, Apple itself phasing out firewire support in recent years."

Mac Pro has FW800
iMac has FW800
Mac mini has FW800
MacBook Pro has FW800

FW400 has been phased out in favor of FW800.

Only the MacBook doesn't have firewire. Hardly phasing out.

Reply Score: 6

RE: What?
by Kroc on Mon 5th Jul 2010 19:46 UTC in reply to "What?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And with FW3200 on the way and LightPeak after that. USB is a crap standard that’s simply common, that’s all. USB3 does nothing to improve the situation other than bump speed a little at the cost of CPU, and still doesn’t come close to FW800.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What?
by darknexus on Mon 5th Jul 2010 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE: What?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And with FW3200 on the way and LightPeak after that. USB is a crap standard that’s simply common, that’s all. USB3 does nothing to improve the situation other than bump speed a little at the cost of CPU, and still doesn’t come close to FW800.


Heh, sense when have the best standards ever won? The cheaper, not the better, technology usually becomes the more prevalent. It's the same battle every time (Beta vs VHS, HD-DVD vs Blu-ray, FW vs USB). The crap (and usually corporate supported) standards win because they're crap and, being crap, are cheaper for consumers and device manufacturers alike.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What?
by anevilyak on Mon 5th Jul 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

Heh, sense when have the best standards ever won? The cheaper, not the better, technology usually becomes the more prevalent. It's the same battle every time (Beta vs VHS, HD-DVD vs Blu-ray, FW vs USB). The crap (and usually corporate supported) standards win because they're crap and, being crap, are cheaper for consumers and device manufacturers alike.


Not entirely accurate, Blu-ray was/is more expensive than HD-DVD in pretty much every way, but it won anyways due to the sheer amount of marketing clout behind it and more or less using a game console as a trojan horse to get an installed base.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What?
by ssa2204 on Tue 6th Jul 2010 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22


Heh, sense when have the best standards ever won? The cheaper, not the better, technology usually becomes the more prevalent. It's the same battle every time (Beta vs VHS, HD-DVD vs Blu-ray, FW vs USB). The crap (and usually corporate supported) standards win because they're crap and, being crap, are cheaper for consumers and device manufacturers alike.


The crap "corporate supported" standards win over what exactly? Other corporate supported standards.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What?
by bert64 on Mon 5th Jul 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "What?"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Recent ipods no longer support firewire, and the iphones never have...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What?
by Kroc on Mon 5th Jul 2010 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: What?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Apple were forced to do so for practicality reasons. When they enabled iTunes for PCs, I was selling a _lot_ of Firewire cards. Also, since FW is a true bus, the chips were larger and Apple axed FW in the name of miniturisation. Give me a 3G iPod anyday.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What?
by mrhasbean on Mon 5th Jul 2010 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: What?"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Recent ipods no longer support firewire, and the iphones never have...


Both are cross platform consumer products. It makes more sense business-wise for them to be USB. Firewire is a significantly better technology than USB, always has been and always will be, but as has already been pointed out here, the best rarely wins because it's all about making things cheaper for those for whom price is their primary purchasing criteria...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What?
by porcel on Tue 6th Jul 2010 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

I think you mean "criterion".

Reply Score: 2

Hardware and software
by divide_by_zero on Mon 5th Jul 2010 19:55 UTC
divide_by_zero
Member since:
2009-07-11

I've heard next year we'll see a new Bluetooth standard that works over wi-fi (IEEE802.11). Might not there be a chance for FireWire to do something similar, and start working over Ethernet?

It's been a while already that cameras based on the "Gig E" standard started to replace FireWire cameras for many applications. It might be interesting to try using the same physical layer, but replace the TCP/IP on top with an alternate "FireWire 3.0" layer... (But again, depends on application needs.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hardware and software
by ggeldenhuys on Mon 5th Jul 2010 21:43 UTC in reply to "Hardware and software"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Might not there be a chance for FireWire to do something similar, and start working over Ethernet?

The Firewire protocol supports many uses. TCP/IP over Firewire has existed for many years! I use it to link my two home computers (Linux & Win200) instead of my 10/100Mbs ethernet network. Now I get 400Mbs transfer speed between my computers. Windows 2000 has support for TCP/IP over Firewire built in, so does Linux, FreeBSD etc. I think Microsoft removed it in XP and later though (beats me why they did that??).

Edited 2010-07-05 21:43 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Hardware and software
by phoenix on Mon 5th Jul 2010 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardware and software"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The OP is asking about the possibility of running the FW protocol over Ethernet cables. Not running network connections over a FW cable.

Similar to how ATA can now be run over Ethernet (AoE), or Fibre Channel can be run over Ethernet (FCoE), or SCSI is run over TCP/IP (iSCSI).

Separating the FW protocol from the underlying transport.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hardware and software
by mesomaan on Tue 6th Jul 2010 15:01 UTC in reply to "Hardware and software"
mesomaan Member since:
2006-01-04

Actually GigE is hardly a standard. A standard would imply open specifications. With GigE, the spec is only available to consortium members. Any open software for GigE must be reverse engineered. Clearly a twentieth century protocol trying to make it in the new millenium.

Reply Score: 2

Did Apple hinder Firewire's adoption?
by walnut tree on Mon 5th Jul 2010 19:57 UTC
walnut tree
Member since:
2005-11-15

It could be argued that Apple themselves are to blame for Firewire's poor adoption. When Apple first released the Firewire spec, they demanded royalty fees that were too high for component manufacturers. See these reports for info

http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG19990115S0019

http://news.com.com/2100-1040_3-220209.html

Then Intel came along with USB and offered it royalty-free to manufacturers. Apple subsequently lowered their royalty fees for Firewire but by then it was too late. Firewire may have been the better technology with faster transfer speeds, but it was USB that gained ascendancy.

USB 3.0 promises maximum theoretical transfer speeds of over 4 GB and components are already coming on to the market. Will this be the final nail in the coffin for Firewire?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Captain Halibut
by Captain Halibut on Mon 5th Jul 2010 21:28 UTC
Captain Halibut
Member since:
2007-04-08

Tried to get XP talk to Windows 7 x64
recently over FW. It's apparently no
longer supported (natively anyway).
Could be a sign at least of waning
interest no? (no links, sorry).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Captain Halibut
by ggeldenhuys on Mon 5th Jul 2010 21:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by Captain Halibut"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Or Microsoft just being sloppy? Win2000, Linux, FreeBSD, etc all support TCP/IP over Firewire without problems. I can't see the reason or logic why Microsoft would remove something that was already implemented and working. Go figure.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Captain Halibut
by Moochman on Mon 5th Jul 2010 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Captain Halibut"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

IIRC they rewrote the whole network stack for Vista. So that would probably explain it--it's a niche feature after all....

Reply Score: 2

mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

yeah, cause MSFT can't afford the resources to do firewire networking and because Vista wasn't delayed or anything and had so much time to add it.

Edited 2010-07-05 23:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

my point was simply that when big important rewrites like that happen, it's pretty common to leave out little-used features in order to reduce the potential for bugs... honestly any PC running Windows Vista or 7 that has a FireWire port should have an Ethernet port and likely Wi-Fi as well, all of which let you make point-to-point connections and share documents.... so I don't see what the big deal is.

FireWire is great, but FireWire networking on Windows was certainly never a "killer feature". On the Mac on the other hand the Target Drive Mode actually is something of a killer feature, it just sucks that MacBook (not Pro) owners are missing out on it these days.

Reply Score: 2

dumdiddydum Member since:
2009-10-29

honestly any PC running Windows Vista or 7 that has a FireWire port should have an Ethernet port and likely Wi-Fi as well, all of which let you make point-to-point connections and share documents.... so I don't see what the big deal is..


having wifi, ethernet or whatnot for network connectivity is sure enough unless you need/want more network interfaces for, let's say, some ad hoc connections. which i frequently do.

also, about microsoft axing FW networking: it's the very fact that ms tries to make all users happy (which often leads to bloated UIs and config overkill) which contradicts that theory.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Captain Halibut
by howitzer86 on Thu 8th Jul 2010 02:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Captain Halibut"
howitzer86 Member since:
2008-02-27

Yeah, Firewire is still supported in Windows 7, just not FW networking.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ChrisIrwin
by ChrisIrwin on Mon 5th Jul 2010 23:24 UTC
ChrisIrwin
Member since:
2008-12-09

I run Windows 7 on one of my computers, and it can't suspend or even shutdown. All indicators point to having a firewire card which Windows doesn't like -- though XP didn't seem to have any problems.

Fedora and Ubuntu work out of the box.

Reply Score: 1

Always Remember
by HappyGod on Tue 6th Jul 2010 02:11 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

Steve Jobs: We're better than you are! We have better stuff.

Bill Gates: You don't get it, Steve. That doesn't matter!

Reply Score: 3

US Military use firewire
by StaubSaugerNZ on Tue 6th Jul 2010 09:53 UTC
StaubSaugerNZ
Member since:
2007-07-13

The US military use FireWire in their new aircraft (eg. F-22). FireWire (standardised as IEEE-1394) is known as MIL-STD-1553 in the US military.

Incidentally, FireWire was invented by a consortium lead by Intel and Microsoft so that they did not have to pay royalties to Apple for FireWire. Unfortunately USB is not as good as FireWrire for several reasons:

* USB does not have the time-guranteed isochronous mode of FireWire, which is why video and audio pros prefer FireWire

* USB relies on the CPU whereas FireWire (chipsets) can transfer without using a host CPU. This means that USB CPU usage is always greater than that of FireWire (FireWire better for large transfers from external hard disks since it doesn't gobble 10% of your CPU for an hour). This characteristic of USB is not only inconvenient when doing other stuff that uses the CPU it also subjects time-critical tasks (audio and video) to higher latency if the CPU is required to service some higher priority.

* USB is specified by an industry consortium, whereas FireWire is standardized by IEEE (which does not favor any particular vendor).

FireWire is not going away anywhere soon.

MIL-STD-1553
http://www.assistdocs.com/search/document_details.cfm?ident_number=...

Edited 2010-07-06 09:58 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: US Military use firewire
by Kroc on Tue 6th Jul 2010 11:26 UTC in reply to "US Military use firewire"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

USB is frequently subjected to abuse. I’ve seen computes and devices that have used non-standard power, non-standard connectors and non-standard protocols. Look at how the iPhone / iPad rely on non-standard USB for charging.

Reply Score: 1

RE: US Military use firewire
by Mellin on Fri 9th Jul 2010 09:15 UTC in reply to "US Military use firewire"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

Firewire was created by Apple

USB was invented by a consortium lead by Intel and Microsoft

:)

Reply Score: 2

:(
by poundsmack on Tue 6th Jul 2010 16:18 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

Sad to see FireWire on it's way out, but with upcomming interfaces like LightPeak, and even USB 3.0, there really isn't much need for it. FireWire, you shall be missed...

Reply Score: 2

And along a similar vein
by elektrik on Tue 6th Jul 2010 19:20 UTC
elektrik
Member since:
2006-04-18

The PC is dead! The floppy is dead too!!!!! (wait, I'm using my floppy to load custom drivers into my desktop Windows installation....Nevermind!)

Reply Score: 1

RE: And along a similar vein
by Mellin on Fri 9th Jul 2010 09:16 UTC in reply to "And along a similar vein"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

mine doesn't have a floppy drive

Reply Score: 2

so what ?
by po134 on Thu 8th Jul 2010 03:24 UTC
po134
Member since:
2009-05-15

For me, a canadian, I really don't see a problem with it as very very few people use this standard

I prefer that they stick with the generic usb, good for everything and most forward putting the 3rd usb standard into action instead of trying to revive the firewire with other cables and everything that goes with it ... there's just no point in my view ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: so what ?
by phoenix on Thu 8th Jul 2010 20:45 UTC in reply to "so what ?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Says someone who has never used a FireWire device in his life. ;)

Reply Score: 2