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Is firewire going away or here to stay?
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
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carlheinz's Avatar
 

Is firewire going away or here to stay?

This might be a siily question but with only 1 800 firewire port new mac product and up to 4 USB ports.Is firewire being phased out.I have a DIGI 002with the BLA tweekhead mod and it hooks up to my FW400 port and my external drive is hooked up to my FW800 port.So now when I think about the future rig of my dreams...ala prism Orpheus...or whatever along with it's firewire conectivity,is my external drive supposed to be hooked up via USB?What's the deal here?Am I missing something?

Thanks!
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
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Dysanfel's Avatar
All technology is in a constant state of being phased out.
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
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I give it a maximum of five years.... Apple seems bent on moving on to USB and once they move on, we'll be stuck with our FW interfaces.... heh
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
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valis's Avatar
The firewire bus is used from Aviation (including the space shuttle & many military aircraft) to manufacturing & robotics. Doubt it will go away anytime soon, but it might recede as a consumer device due to the licensing overhead and competition with the USB bus as a peripheral interface. It used to be that the PIO overhead with USB made it less attractive than Firewire which has its own buffer and the ability to help negotiate the data transfer, but since it's so highly integrated into chipsets now it seems that the OS/driver/hardware support for USB has come a long way.
Old 20th November 2009
  #5
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Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

I have never been that satisfied with firewire. I might have bought into it more if the connectors (4-pin, 6-pin, and 9-pin) would actually stay plugged in like USB. It's always great to be in the middle of a session when the cable gets pulled out.

From what I've heard it's going to be USB3.0 vs Apple/Intel proprietary format. This new format, which we should start seeing around 2011 is supposed to replace all common peripheral cables currently in use. We'll see...
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
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javahut's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
I give it a maximum of five years.... Apple seems bent on moving on to USB and once they move on, we'll be stuck with our FW interfaces.... heh
Who cares what Apple does?
Old 20th November 2009
  #7
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by javahut View Post
Who cares what Apple does?
Those who use Macs of course....
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
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ears2thesky's Avatar
As long as PCI controllers are available I doubt Firewire will disappear for a while. The inclusion of on-board FW is less of an issue since most folks in the know would get an aftermarket card with TI chipsets anyway.
Old 20th November 2009
  #9
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Harry Hughes's Avatar
 

I can say this much, and that is I am looking forward to USB 3.0.
I've never had latency problems at all with USB 2.0 as long as I had no VSTs and effects running on the tracks I was recording on.
If USB 3.0 is going to be capable of tracking even with internal monitoring with amp sim VSTs etc, then it will certainly possibly turn some potential firewire customers to it's direction.
Old 20th November 2009
  #10
Registered User
 

All they new iMacs have Firewire and no USB 3 only USB 2. All of the high pro video stuff still uses firewire lots of audio i/o still use f/w
Old 20th November 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysanfel View Post
All technology is in a constant state of being phased out.
Exactly Apple is working on a new OS already 10.7
Old 20th November 2009
  #12
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The 1394 trade association doesn't think so, still in development as a replacement for ethernet, and use in home media networks, lot's of stuff on the horizon.

1394 Trade Association

Old 21st November 2009
  #13
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Whoa.... Deja Vu
I swear I've read this exact same thread recently
Old 21st November 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3altruth View Post
Whoa.... Deja Vu
I swear I've read this exact same thread recently
yup
the answer is also in the other thread.
Apple is working with Intel on another kind of interface (one cable type thing).
USB 3 will still be non-continuous data transfer, correct?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #15
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FACT 1:

It would take some time for audio manufacturers to move their lines over to USB 3 IF, and again that's a big "IF", USB3 does in fact pan out for audio. It'll be some time before that (or any other vapor-tech) becomes battle tested enough for companies to make the switch. (Apple excluded, of course. )

FACT 2:

There are currently no pro camcorders using USB for data transfer. They are ALL tape-based and use Firewire (Canon, Sony).

So unless Microsoft or Apple want to shut out the audio and video professionals, they will be supporting Firewire for some time.

Out of time here. Conclusion. Firewire will be around for a few more years yet. No worries for now, but as someone mentioned above, ALL technology gets phased out eventually.

Go make music!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #16
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actually the beauty of usb 3 is it's backwards compatible with usb 2. no manufacturer has to do anything right away. and firewire is going away. the 1394 trade association's claims aside nothing is comming out in the near future with firewire in it. apple the largest backer of firewire has pulled out, that should be more than enough info on the subject to pronounce it dead in the near future.


as far as high end pro video...
firewire is being supplanted by wi-fi and usb 2.0 and soon 3. old high end cameras by panasonic, cannon and sony were firewire. almost all the new models support it but something else as well.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
FACT 2:

There are currently no pro camcorders using USB for data transfer. They are ALL tape-based and use Firewire (Canon, Sony).
This is incorrect actually. The Sony SxS system (EX1/R, EX3) and the new NXCAM stuff and the Panasonic P2 system are not tape-based at all, they're all using memory cards now. Canon doesn't actually make any truly pro video cameras but you could argue that the EOS 5D MkII SLR which is now in use for a lot of music video production counts and I believe it's USB as well as far as a direct transfer is concerned.

I think even the Sony XDCAM disc-based stuff can be transferred via USB because it's all file-based. There is still DV/HDV tape stuff in use at the absolute low end and of course at the top-end it's often still tapes (HDCAM/DVCPRO HD etc) but even the RED ONE camera system comes with a USB card reader if you're working to SD cards (which works very well, in my experience it's more reliable than the hard-disk systems which I've seen fail on sets). So there are LOTS of pro cameras using USB. It's all non-realtime capture through that port, though (again, it's file-based, non-linear) - so it doesn't need a guaranteed throughput to work correctly unlike with firewire and tape/deck systems.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #18
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The sky is NOT falling...

SIMPLE FACT CHECK GUYS...

I'm no video elitist, but simply go to Sony.com, pro camcorders, click through to the "professional" offerings.... they're ALL Firewire-based units... (Same with Canon.com)

Same with audio. Go to MOTU, RME, Apogee, Mackie, etc. and compare Firewire to USB offerings. Do this first and then come back and cry to us about how firewire is dying oh so fast...

PS. but don't tell Mackie, seeing as they just finished completely re-tooling their Onyx line of mixers to accommodate firewire.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #19
RTR
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RTR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Hughes View Post
I can say this much, and that is I am looking forward to USB 3.0.
I've never had latency problems at all with USB 2.0 as long as I had no VSTs and effects running on the tracks I was recording on.
If USB 3.0 is going to be capable of tracking even with internal monitoring with amp sim VSTs etc, then it will certainly possibly turn some potential firewire customers to it's direction.
Ya, thats the problem..I hate USB, the POS mbox2 I used to have had BAD latency, Fire wire has always beaten usb for me, I do use VST/RTAS instruments!!!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
SIMPLE FACT CHECK GUYS...

I'm no video elitist, but simply go to Sony.com, pro camcorders, click through to the "professional" offerings.... they're ALL Firewire-based units... (Same with Canon.com)
I had a look. Any that are not tape-based have both Firewire AND USB for data transfer.

Sony : PMW-EX3 (PMWEX3) : Technical Specifications : United Kingdom
Old 22nd November 2009
  #21
oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention is that in the camcorder world, firewire is only a necessity on a very small handful of products (HDV/DV, generally, such as the Sony Z1/A1 and M15 decks, etc).

With IT-based cameras like the SxS stuff, XDCAM, P2 etc it's only used for file transfer (and thus, anything will suffice - hell, SxS cards can be plugged directly into Expresscard/34 slots if you like) - but USB connections are the norm here as well as I mentioned (they do also have firewire, but it's included for legacy methinks).

With high-end pro cameras such as the HDCAM line it's certainly not used for full-res capture - it can't handle the 100 megabit+ bandwidth of full-raster 1920x1080 progressive video. It can be used for proxy capture "in the field" etc but is not by any means used for capturing the end product - HD-SDI is generally still the preferred connection here for digital transfer, but we're certainly out of consumer-grade technology at this point.

It's not gonna go away. You will see fewer and fewer devices being made with it over the next few years as we migrate to whatever it is we migrate to, but I would imagine it will be available as a legacy add-on via expansion card for whatever type of system you have that can handle it for many years to come. I can still buy SCSI controllers, for example, and nobody uses those any more in new kit...
Old 22nd November 2009
  #22
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

i guess it depends on what you think constitutes "pro" these days.. the EX series are great, not sure they are "pro"... though they are capable of excellent results! The XDCAM-HD cameras that I use all have only firewire (disc based). I do have the sony XDCAM-HD external drive that operates only via USB2.

I'd guess firewire is on the way out... even though I bought a firewire interface (steinberg 816x). I figure it will be around for a while longer though.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #23
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Both USB and Firewire are on their way out.

Intel is delaying USB 3 on the motherboard until 2011. This tells me they're changing direction and rightly so.

The future is Light Peak. A fibre optic connection that will carry multiple protocols over a bidirectional 10Gbps connection. Intel and Apple showed a prototype Mac running Light Peak at IDF this year.

It makes total sense. Why put the development effort into USB 3 when you have faster throughput, lower latency and longer cable runs with Light Peak? Add in multiprotocol support and it's clear that USB 3 isn't meant to have the same market penetration.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #24
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videoteque's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post

FACT 2:

There are currently no pro camcorders using USB for data transfer. They are ALL tape-based and use Firewire (Canon, Sony).
All TAPE-BASED camcorders have firewire, pro or not pro.

All hard-disk or memory based camcorders use USB.

There may some exceptions, but when you want to express a FACT is better to do it properly.

VDSLR or RAW based cameras is where the funk is today. None have firewire!
Old 23rd November 2009
  #25
LQM
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"Same with audio. Go to MOTU, RME, Apogee, Mackie, etc. and compare Firewire to USB offerings. Do this first and then come back and cry to us about how firewire is dying oh so fast... "

Erm ... You might not have known then that RME (Fireface UC), MOTU (828 mkII and III) and Apogee One (the new mini mini Duet) are all USB 2.0 interfaces then.

More to the point, RME's fireface UC often outperforms it's firewire equivalent the Fireface 400 in terms of latency.

As far as audio is going - Apple is a major partner in the USB3 project, Jobs himself said firewire is becoming a legacy product when he first launched some MacBooks without it about a year ago (although later they dropped the line and renamed it 13" MacBook Pro as the amount of protesting was huge which did include 1 fw800 port).

Whatever Apple does has huge repercussions, even in the PC owners world because the majority of pro studios are running Mac as their platform of choice. It is the major player in the professional audio market, and has a big chunk of users even in the home and semi-pro markets. USB 3.0 will be coming soon, with a maximum transfer speed of 5GB/s which is over 10x the speed of USB 2.0 (yes, I know the maximum is not usually close to being sustained, etc). It might take 2-3 years before we see a surge of these devices, so firewire still remains the best choice in the current climate, but it seems like it's days will be numbered.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #26
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USB = single protocol, limited length on cables

Light Peak = multiple protocol, long cable length superior speed and latency


It's a no brainer. Don't expect USB 3.0 to become standard. The market is moving on and Intel has delayed USB 3 on motherboards until 2011. Speaks volumes about how they feel about its chances.

Fibre optics have always been faster but expensive. Light Peak is affordable and because Corning developed Clearcurve cables that can withstand a bunch of 90 degree bends without losing speed the die was cast in 2007.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #27
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And now the thread becomes: USB 3 is on the way out?

You guys don't get it... The companies selling the specs (ie Apple, Intel, etc.) are always playing up new tech long before the street is ready. Wishful dreaming on their part played up by the marketing depts.

REALITY: People buy what works TODAY and third party manufacturers produce hardware & software that sells TODAY. Sure USB is making inroads into companies like Apogee and RME, but those products certainly don't supplant their Firewire offerings - it's more like a "covering all the bases" approach. If people will buy USB interfaces, why not offer them (though we all know most folks around here prefer Firewire!)

USB 3... Light Peak? It's all vapor-ware right now in 2009. Firewire is still here and selling strong. Again, Mackie is probably the biggest selling company for mixing boards, and a major investment in a whole new Firewire-based line of Onyx mixers speaks volumes on the current state of Firewire.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #28
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carlheinz's Avatar
 

Apple has a simple and fine tuned way of using their newer faster computer products and O.S. as leverage to drive the hardware market.

Humans will be phased out eventually.Id like to see a fully automated Apple retail store as well.
Old 24th November 2009
  #29
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The Writing is on the wall

I'm not saying USB 3.0 won't have a place but it's kind of hard to compete with the aforementioned tangible benefits of fiber optics.

Some Light Peak data to chew on.

Intel delays USB 3.0 support until 2011? - TechSpot News

Quote:
The chip maker may also be showing preference to its own optical cable interface, Light Peak, which can handle transfers up to 10Gbps and will enter mass production early next year.
Oclaro Introduces New VCSEL Laser for Intel Light Peak Technology

Quote:
"Intel is pleased to be working with Oclaro to make Light Peak optical components ready to ship in 2010," said Jason Ziller
Ensphere Solutions Secures $4 Million Investment from Ideavelopers

Quote:
“Ensphere has aggressive plans to launch a portfolio of exciting optical products including transceivers ICs for Intel’s Light Peak technology.
I've seen plenty of "Tech Demo" where a cool technology is shown but the reality is very few companies are working on bringing the technology to market. Light Peak is clearly different. I've set up a Google Alert and not a day goes by where there isn't a story about a company set to deliver IC or whatever for Light Peak.

So with this in mind I do indeed think product ships next year in 2010 (late) and by the time USB 3.0 hits the motherboard Light Peak will likely be there on high end motherboards as well.

The beauty of Light Peak though is that if it truly handles multiple protocols well your legacy FW peripherals should work with a bridge device.

It'll probably be 2012 before you see a good amount of native Light Peak devices.
Old 24th November 2009
  #30
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greyskull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post
Both USB and Firewire are on their way out.

Intel is delaying USB 3 on the motherboard until 2011. This tells me they're changing direction and rightly so.

The future is Light Peak. A fibre optic connection that will carry multiple protocols over a bidirectional 10Gbps connection. Intel and Apple showed a prototype Mac running Light Peak at IDF this year.

It makes total sense. Why put the development effort into USB 3 when you have faster throughput, lower latency and longer cable runs with Light Peak? Add in multiprotocol support and it's clear that USB 3 isn't meant to have the same market penetration.
Why has USB 2 triumphed over Firewire outside of the pro audio/video sector
( i agree it makes NO sense)
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