Saturday, December 15th 2007

New FireWire Specifications Offer Four Times More Speed

The 1394 Trade Association today announced a new specification to quadruple the speed of FireWire to reach 3.2 gigabits per second.

The new electrical specification, known as S3200, builds upon the IEEE 1394b standard, preserving all the advantages of FireWire while offering a major and unprecedented boost in performance. The new speed uses the cables and connectors already deployed for FireWire 800 products, making the transition forward easy and convenient for 1394 product vendors and their customers. Because the 1394 arbitration, data, and service protocols were not modified for S3200, silicon and software vendors can deploy the faster speed FireWire quickly and with confidence that it will deliver its full potential performance. The S3200 specification is expected to be ratified by early February.

FireWire 800 products deployed since 2003 have proven that IEEE 1394b delivers outstanding performance. Operating without polling, without idle times, and without continuous software management, FireWire 800 efficiently delivers more than 97 percent of its bit rate as payload -- not overhead. FireWire 800 hard drives today can easily move over 90 megabytes per second. S3200 preserves 100 percent of the 1394b design efficiency and will deliver extremely high payload speeds reaching nearly 400 megabytes per second. Other interface technologies struggle to deliver half their advertised bit rate to the user, even under optimal conditions.

No Compromises to 1394’s Features

The S3200 specification brings FireWire to this new performance level without compromising existing features. For example, FireWire provides much more electrical power than any other interface, freeing users from inconvenient AC power adapters. FireWire products built using S3200 will directly connect to every previously released FireWire product. Alternative cable options are available to carry FireWire over long distances - 100 meters or more - even at high speeds.

Also, FireWire’s peer-to-peer architecture allows products to operate with a computer - or without one. This superior combination of features is not found in any other technology, which explains why over one billion FireWire ports have been shipped to date, on products as diverse as computers, cameras, televisions, hard drives, and musical instruments. IEEE 1394 also is deployed in vital applications in state-of-the-art aircraft and polar orbiting satellites.

S3200 Strengthens 1394’s Position in Storage, Consumer Electronics

One of the strongest markets today for FireWire is storage for computers. The best hard drives with FireWire 800 can move data almost three times as fast as the best hard drives with USB 2.0. Also, FireWire provides much more electrical power than USB, so FireWire-equipped hard drives can operate without an AC adapter, and at high rotational speeds. USB hard drives can fail to work from USB power, or require a second USB cable for power, or use the lowest-performance drive mechanisms because so little power is available.

With S3200 this power advantage for FireWire is fully preserved. S3200 also makes FireWire so fast that users will see no advantage from eSATA. Both interfaces are much faster than any modern hard drive mechanism, but eSATA does not provide electrical power to operate a drive. On a computer, an eSATA port is far less flexible than a FireWire port, because many more devices can connect to FireWire. For these reasons, S3200 makes FireWire the superior choice for future external storage products.

S3200 will also enhance FireWire’s strong position in consumer electronics A/V devices such as camcorders and televisions. Today, 100 percent of HD set top boxes provided by cable companies have FireWire ports. So do 100 models of HDTV. FireWire is the only separable interface today that can record HD programs in their full digital quality while also meeting the content protection requirements of copyright holders. Many companies are pursuing whole-home HD network solutions using FireWire - notably the HANA Alliance.

Technology development is also nearing completion to permit FireWire to operate over cable television coaxial cables, without disrupting the existing program content. With S3200, FireWire becomes fast enough to move even uncompressed HD signals over long distances at much lower cost than solutions such as HDMI.

"The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multi-purpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices," said James Snider, executive director, 1394 Trade Association. "There is a very clear migration path from 800 Megabits/second to 3.2 Gigabits/second, with no need for modifications to the standard and no requirement for new cables or connectors."

The Silicon Working Group developed the S3200 specification within the 1394 Trade Association, with participation by industry leaders including Symwave, Texas Instruments, LSI Corporation, and Oxford Semiconductor. S3200 specifies the electrical operation of the 3.2 Gigabit mode first specified by IEEE 1394b-2002, without changing any connector, cable, protocol, or software requirements. Based on the working group's progress, the Trade Association has set a January 2008 date for the specification to enter a ratification process.

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement and enhancement of the IEEE 1394 audio video standard. For more information, visit 1394ta.orgSource: 1394 Trade Association
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45 Comments on New FireWire Specifications Offer Four Times More Speed

#1
1c3d0g
Eh....too little too late, IMO. And yes, I know FireWire is the more elegant solution, but with the upcoming USB 3 topping out at 5 Gb/s, I'm afraid this new FireWire implementation is dead before birth.
Posted on Reply
#2
AddSub
Eh....too little too late, IMO. And yes, I know FireWire is the more elegant solution, but with the upcoming USB 3 topping out at 5 Gb/s, I'm afraid this new FireWire implementation is dead before birth.
Pretty much, yeah.
Posted on Reply
#3
Steevo
I was liking the whole thing untill the copyright crap came up. I hate it, and I believe it causes more people to go "pirating" than if it were easy to watch a Fing movie without all the extra associated bullshit.


Would I rather buy a HD-DVD or Blu Ray and not be able to watch it from my PC to my TV, and Projector as there are too many content streams at once, or just pirate it, and watch it how and when I like? Hard choice there........


Not that I advocate piracy, however when I have rented movies in the past, I couldn't play them on my Monitor and TV at the same time, and I cannot watch a movie that my wife is watching too from our HD cable, at the same time. Even though I can record it onto the DVR and transfer that onto a esata drive?



Stupid, ass backwards, and the ideology of people who understand nothing. If I were that big bad of a Pirate I would just copy it and find a way watch it and re-record it.
Posted on Reply
#4
TheGuruStud
Steevo said:
If I were that big bad of a Pirate I would just copy it and find a way watch it and re-record it.
That's what we all do :rockout: And that's how we stick it to them. Don't let them force you to be their bitch. Rip them off of everything and laugh. I copy tons of shit and give it away for free (especially satisfying when I give retail copies away weeks or months before release date :)).
They will only learn when they stop making money b/c everyone hates them. Paying for their products or services only encourages them to change nothing.
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
1c3d0g said:
Eh....too little too late, IMO. And yes, I know FireWire is the more elegant solution, but with the upcoming USB 3 topping out at 5 Gb/s, I'm afraid this new FireWire implementation is dead before birth.
The problem is the payload capacity. On a 100Mbit connection you can only count on about 70% of that being available due to protocol restraints, same with USB, the whole point of firewire is the high payload delivery.




Imagine you can haul 100 tons on a peticular road, if you have two trucks that can maximize that weight delivery but one truck weighs 10 ton and the other only 3, what truck would you use. Obviously the lighter truck as payload would be higher. So if firewire can deliver 97 tons and USB can only deliver 85 what one is better? Besides there are few things today that can sustain that speed, and none of them are available as firewire or USB. Flash memory is at a crawl still. Hard drives are slow.
Posted on Reply
#6
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
twicksisted said:
You can get an eSATA pcima card for your laptop and provides one eSATA port...
Maybe that will come in handy for you as youll be able to have an external disk thats "faster" in terms of it being able to run at 7200rpm (or even 10krpm if you go raptor )
Unfortunitly for me my laptop aint that old either so I dont have a pcima slot. I have the 54 PCI-Ex slot. but yeah I get what you mean. but to me them sorta things are a waste of money as here in the UK their not cheap

the extra speed would be nice but im not going to spend a premium for it
Posted on Reply
#7
Mussels
Moderprator
Chewy said:
you cant just plug in esata.. it needs to boot with the comp :(. but yes esata is pure ownage lol!
E-sata is sata 1, which has no hot swap. Asus and a few others messed with the name and updated it to SATA-II which *does* support hotswap.

This mobo i'm on now doesnt work (system goes unstable) but connecting the drive to the internal ports works fine to hotswap it - its just the e-sata ports are a shitty J-micron controller. Storage PC works hotswap internal and external.


Steevo has it right :P with network and USB (and sata specs... and wireless....) they count all bandwidth, even if you cant use it. 100Mb network = 12.5MB/s, yet i've NEVER seen a transfer go over 10.5MB/s. USB can do 480Mb - why cant i pass 30MB/s (240Mb) with a drive that does 62MB/s internally? stupid overheads, thats why :P
Firewires always been fast and reliable, cant wait to compare this one with USB 3.0
Posted on Reply
#8
twicksisted
you know the silly thing is that with all the speed... harddrives just cant read or write that fast.
for example... lets say you have a sata 2 drive that can do a maximum sustained read / write of 40MB p/sec on a SATA 1 (150mbpsec) or SATA 2 port (300MBpsec) its still only going to read / write at 40MBpsec on the SATA2 port.

SATA 2 is only valid if you going to run multiple raid drives that exceed a total read write of 150mbpsec for sata 2 to be a valid choice to use SATA2 and then you going to need like 8-10 drives in raid 0/5/10 to reach anywhere near the speed that sata 2 can deal with.

I think this will be the same for these new USB & Firewire connections as essentially they are going to be throughputting data and that data will need to be read / written in either system ram or HDD's.... Dosent matter is its capable of 5GBpsec if the system drives and other components are slow... and i doubt youll see a difference when trying to read / write to an external drive which on its own will probably be around 40mbpsec read write ;)
Posted on Reply
#9
Mussels
Moderprator
twicksisted said:
you know the silly thing is that with all the speed... harddrives just cant read or write that fast.
for example... lets say you have a sata 2 drive that can do a maximum sustained read / write of 40MB p/sec on a SATA 1 (150mbpsec) or SATA 2 port (300MBpsec) its still only going to read / write at 40MBpsec on the SATA2 port.

SATA 2 is only valid if you going to run multiple raid drives that exceed a total read write of 150mbpsec for sata 2 to be a valid choice to use SATA2 and then you going to need like 8-10 drives in raid 0/5/10 to reach anywhere near the speed that sata 2 can deal with.

I think this will be the same for these new USB & Firewire connections as essentially they are going to be throughputting data and that data will need to be read / written in either system ram or HDD's.... Dosent matter is its capable of 5GBpsec if the system drives and other components are slow... and i doubt youll see a difference when trying to read / write to an external drive which on its own will probably be around 40mbpsec read write ;)
my non raided 500GB's do 62MB/s between each other (vistas speed reporting), while faster than what you've said it certainly is slower than USB3 and firewire 1200
Posted on Reply
#10
The_Gunslinger
usb is and will always be slower than firewire, it is simply an inferior connection type... period.

90% of sata controllers are hot swappable, however it was not a rule for the standard, so dont be surprised if yours is not hot swappable. ALL eSATA should as far as i know be hot swapable as this was part of the standard.

this new firewire will be great provided M$ doesnt screw it like they did the 1394b drivers .... where their OS was effectively crippling it to a quarter of it's abilities.

manufacturers want to sell you USB because it very very cheap to produce and impliment, and they get to sell you all sorts of crap you dont need with firewire like "hubs" ... firewire devices can be daisy chained, so each device can have an in and an out socket, and you simply connect them in a chain .. voila (yes there is a limit to how many, but i forget how many it is now) no more need for hubs or expansion cards or any of the other crap

also, as far as i know, hooking one 1394a device to a 1394b socket will not affect all other sockets on that hub/card unlike USB which will drag the whole hub down to the slowest devices speed connected to it.

i will always use firewire over USB whenever i get the chance
Posted on Reply
#11
Mussels
Moderprator
The_Gunslinger said:
usb is and will always be slower than firewire, it is simply an inferior connection type... period.

90% of sata controllers are hot swappable, however it was not a rule for the standard, so dont be surprised if yours is not hot swappable. ALL eSATA should as far as i know be hot swapable as this was part of the standard.

this new firewire will be great provided M$ doesnt screw it like they did the 1394b drivers .... where their OS was effectively crippling it to a quarter of it's abilities.

manufacturers want to sell you USB because it very very cheap to produce and impliment, and they get to sell you all sorts of crap you dont need with firewire like "hubs" ... firewire devices can be daisy chained, so each device can have an in and an out socket, and you simply connect them in a chain .. voila (yes there is a limit to how many, but i forget how many it is now) no more need for hubs or expansion cards or any of the other crap

also, as far as i know, hooking one 1394a device to a 1394b socket will not affect all other sockets on that hub/card unlike USB which will drag the whole hub down to the slowest devices speed connected to it.

i will always use firewire over USB whenever i get the chance
all of what you say is right, except for the last part - connecting a 1.1 device to a hub does not drag otehrs down... unless you're chaining hubs, and the first one is 1.1 only.
Posted on Reply
#12
The_Gunslinger
ah, thanks for that, i'll bear that in mind, i'm always cautious of it because my printer is USB 1.1 only, so i have to be careful where i plug it in
Posted on Reply
#13
twicksisted
Mussels said:
my non raided 500GB's do 62MB/s between each other (vistas speed reporting), while faster than what you've said it certainly is slower than USB3 and firewire 1200
yeah i was just speculating at what a sata 1 or 2 drive would give... i think my WD3200RE16 drives do around 60MBpsec each... I have four of them in a raid 0 configuration on a SATA 2 port... but i think they would perform the same on a sata 1 as sustained they probably dont hit 150MBpsec... and thats for four of them...

So as a comparison i reckon that having a USB port capable of 5GBpsec is pointless with todays hardware... infact firewire 800 is probably not even gonna be maximised even with what i have running ;)

Certainly for someone plugging a 7200 rpm external HDD in to try and see a difference!
Posted on Reply
#14
Unregistered
The_Gunslinger said:
usb is and will always be slower than firewire, it is simply an inferior connection type... period.
That's only a half-truth. Firewire is more expensive for everyone, often less easily implemented, and really just designed with video/image/sound editing and transfer in mind.

Did you know that USB was originally designed to compliment Firewire, and that the two were never meant to be in direct competition?
Posted on Edit | Reply
#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Wow, a boon for non-storage devices, with e-SATA already gaining ground as a popular external storage communication link.
Posted on Reply
#16
Mussels
Moderprator
oh and one thing in favour of USB 3.0: hubs. its bandwidth may be excessive, but when ah eap of devices share the one port, thats good news.

At one time, i had 4x external hard drives connected with USB 2.0 adaptors, to a 4 port hub - while it was sure convenient to carry around (they were bound together) it was slow as crap to use more than one at a time since they shared ports.... USB3.0 would let em chug along all on their own.
Posted on Reply
#17
Steevo
The Maxtor derive at work is firewire, and it is plug and pray. Only problem i have ever found is the MS drivers are shit unless you make sure that it is in cacheable mode where it can use the drives onboard cache.
Posted on Reply
#18
Mussels
Moderprator
theres updated drivers, instead of the MS ones? i have a drive caddy here that had firewire, only reason i dont use it is cause my E-sata cage kinda pwns it for speed.
Posted on Reply
#19
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Prototype USB 3.0 is 10X faster than USB 2.0, they say.

So that's 4.8 Gbps. Can this serve as a viable network media? I mean a topology where each computer in a network is a USB device of another computer on the same network? Can a topology like this be worked out?

The current fastest wired network media is the RJ-45 gigabit ethernet, which ofcourse is redundannt.
Posted on Reply
#20
Dippyskoodlez


Nuff said.


Good to see firewire is still alive and kicking ass.

Looking forward to a new firewire port on my next macbook pro.
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