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USB 2.0 Spec Is Final - Up To 480 MB/s 227

mrbinary writes "I hadn't checked the USB website for awhile, but it seems that the USB 2.0 spec is final and the speeds are confirmed at up to 480 MB/sec. Not too bad - hardware should be available shortly and the spec is fully reverse-compatible with USB 1.1. There's a PDF document that talks about the goodies upcoming including: 'A first-ever demonstration of multiple MPEG videos being played on a ZIP drive connected to a PC via a USB 2.0 Bridge. The demonstration featured an FPGA bridge designed and manufactured by In-System Design, an I/O design and engineering firm specializing in USB bridging solutions.'" USB is actually a cool standard, but cooler on paper sometimes than in real life. Hopefully 2.0 will squeeze ideal and reality a little closer together. [Updated 4:00 GMT 22 Aug by timothy:] As reader David Bastiani points out, 480 Mb/sec sounds a lot more reasonable than 480 MB/sec. Maybe that will make it easier to make the specs meet reality;)
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USB 2.0 Spec Is Final - Up To 480 MB/s

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  • Intel just wants to keep USB alive to try and steal the power of 1394. But in reality, the main benefit of 1394 is not being tied to a PC host or having a hub based network. Where is this useful? In the home entertainment area, where you could hook your 1394 HDTV to a 1394 DVD player and enjoy. One cable per device, instead of the several to get video and audio. Plus it's all digital.

    USB2 will be nice for the speed, but 1394 is prepairing to hop to 800Mb/s then on to 1.6Gb/s.
  • You just reminded me of something. USB was designed originally to get rid of serial and parallel ports and unify the connection method. In fact, it has now done the opposite. Instead of two kinds of ports on the back, you now are going to have 4 (more if you've got firewire like Sony's VAIO line), two of which (USB 1/2) look very similar. Again, Apple has the right idea, and the PC industry just doesn't "get it."
  • That's pretty simple. Not too many computers are shipped with firewire pre-installed. Not only that, there are fewer devices for it (still more high speed SCSI devices). I like firewire, but in working with hundreds of new and used computers at work and school, I haven't encountered much firewire - it's just not popular. USB is built onto most ATX motherboards now, and has cross-platform support.
  • I just want to say that usb already manages to ruin most of my days at work.
    I work on diagnostics for a hardware company that sells docking stations and we have a product with usb in it. Developing a software diagnostic was a pain in the ass. The protocol is so screwed up. I think its a conspiracy to up the processor speeds the average computer user needs.
    The OHCI implementation (OPTI & CMD chips) causes an interrupt every millisecond. When this interrupt occurs a bunch of data is sent over the link. Lots of software driver activity. Regardless if there is a device plugged in or not watching this on a Logic Analyzer you see a bunch of data being processed that basically means "I'm ok, I'm still here". If that interrupt isn't handled properly system crash or at least USB crash. Actually using a device increases this of course but I think for a USB mouse to suck this much resources is.. bad?
    UHCI (Intel) implementation is slightly better. Except no one can get it to work if its not built into motherboard (except VIA, what does that say?). Doesn't cause as many interrupts, and its IO based. Basically USB 2.0 is going to increase the frequency of interrupts. Faster processors benefit who?.. Of course I'm just being paranoid because i'm a software guy at a hardware company.
    ~Bryan Starbuck
  • I don't own any USB devices because the spec was too slow. ( I could have gotten some joysticks or MIDI instruments, but I didn't)

    Now (2.0) there is some major headroom. This can be a platform to network homes. Its fast enough to have a network display device, and send images from a sat receiver or vcr to any pc or other tv.
  • I've read that USB keyboards and mice are supported at least by linux, which is a good first step, but the vast majority of USB devices are things like cameras and scanners.

    My FreeBSD box syncs with my Visor (Palm clone) over USB. I have a working USB Ethernet (intended for use on an i-opener, or similar unit which I havn't had the time to hack up). I expect my new digital camera will as well since I got sources to a Linux program that does it. I just have to find out the diffrences between raw USB access on Linux and FreeBSD.

    According to the (BSD) usb mailing list I'm on many USB modems work. As do many USB mass storage devices. Not that USB1.1 is a fast access path to mass storage, still slower then 1987's async SCSI.

    I don't know how closely sync'ed the BSD and Linux USB stacks are. I think the Linux one started with NetBSD's (a fair and good idea). FreeBSD's track's NetBSD's.

    I'de say more but the dog wants attention...

  • Firewire is not only faster than USB, it's more versatile, and more expensive. Firewire mice and keyboards just aren't very practical. Unfortunately, the 12Mb/sec bandwidth of USB 1.0 is a little slow for some peripherals such as scanners and CD-RW drives. Putting Firewire on PCs to meet this need means more ports of different types to confuse the average user. It also means additional expense of having both a USB controller and Firewire controller in the same system. With USB 2.0, the additional cost is relatively low, and it keeps things simpler for the user. Maybe Firewire will continue to increase it's bandwidth and still take off for higher end devices. So far, the only ones I see pushing it are Apple and Sony. If it's such a good general purpose bus, where's the iLink (Firewire) ports on the Playstation 2. Of course, I've never seen a Playstation 2, so for all I know it could have Firewire.
  • Both your AT Keyboard, and your PS/2 Mouse use an IRQ, (1 and 12), USB uses ONE IRQ for all devices attached, up to 127!

    You only have 16 total, IRQ's are precious.
  • As the poster above me mentioned, will putting a usb1.x hub on one port, and a 2.0 hub on the other port solve the downspeeding problem?
  • Perhaps not. But they seem to be smart enough to massage the judicial/legislative systems into giving them their way.
  • I see plenty of comparisons between firewire and USB, but no-one seems to be mentioning the cost of the hardware. Yes, it does appear that firewire is a faster, better protocol, which doesn't require a PC as master controller (if I read the posts below correctly) But realistically, how much is it going to cost to place this hardware on my motherboard and in my camera/hard-drive whatever?

    By having a host computer do the work you can significantly reduce the complexity and the cost of the peripheral- On average, there are going to be many more peripherals than hosts. If the peripheral is cheaper, then you have an immediate leg up.

    Who's going to win? Probably Intel. Even overlooking price, Intel is the 800 pound gorilla that has intimate relationships with *all* the major PC makers. Intel works heavily on building relationships with the PC makers, so that they can get more than just CPUs in PCs, but chip-sets and other peripherals. Firewire is backed by Apple. Apple doesn't doesn't command as many of the eyes or ears of the PC manufacturer world, by their own design.

    The winner of this battle is going to be whoever can put the most ports on the most desktops. Think Beta vs. VHS.
  • on a side note, why the hell dont we give ourselves 256 IRQ's? we went from 8 to 16, but thats not enough!
  • Say, how does that work? I just noticed that my video card is IRQ 80, the USB controller is 31, SCSI 72, NIC 76.

  • The legal system can't stop me from wandering down to radioshack and picking up a 1M resistor and a 741 opamp.... Christ, their security scheme could be bypassed for $2.50 in parts!!!!
  • Try maxing USB 2.0 on ISA though, BOOM! :-)
  • One of the reasons I don't run Linux too much anymore is this :) I've got my share of USB devices and it's really sweet when I can just move my mouse, printer, etc. from machine to machine with no issues.
  • From what I understand, it still is. I think there are command queuing issues and such that are well handled by SCSI host adapters. I'm kinda fuzzy on this, so I might be wrong.

  • You mean like a playstation II?
  • Well since you have started your own little thread I thought I might chime in with my own thoughts.
    Music isnt' the be all and the end all of entertainment. Just as radio isn't even a candle to television in any sense.
    Plus I am not going to take a 4 year degree to learn to decipher a speaker system and then void the warrenty on my speakers to get said sound.
    It is just sheer lunacy. Perhaps you should look into things that need more protecting than just music like perhaps human rights/liberties, or perhaps free expression. I never owned a piece of sound hardware and I don't really care to start.
    The principal is simple humans have far better things to do with their time than to constantly chase legaleese with a bunch of fat cats and put themselves in bad circumstances.
    I want to honestly know *why* in the hell suddewntly music seems to be more important than blood, human life, or even moving pictures.
    Reading a good book at a library or perhaps going to a nice play or even opera is better than getting pure music.
    In short the human race should pick it's battles for the public to care about and I can't possibly see why music should be one of them. Music is all about love/lost love/getting in love and the like any way. Verry little with any political message or theme. Most is bland. Classiccal music at least tells a story and I don't need to go on napster to get a copy of that and it's not even questionable.
    I want you to show me a new song (within the last 50 years) that has told some form of epic story using a rock n' roll genre as it's basis. I don't think it exists.
    Now Faust: that's literature.
  • Good question. As far as getting a hub to make 1.x devices go faster, I don't see how that would be possible. The 1.x devices either aren't going to generate data fast enough (clock speed), or the actual cable/port itself won't physically allow for 2.x speeds (transmission line problem). However, isn't USB supposed to allow isosynchrony? It seems like there could be slow 1.x devices on a 2.x system, and 2.x devices could still be guaranteed 2.x-level speeds. Alas, I've no clue. Seems to me that USB's only advantage is the cables are cheaper. Firewire has smaller ports, and allows daisy-chaining sans hubs. Of course, a lot of implementation depends on the complexity of the chipset. Anyone have any info on this?
  • ... mentioned in the article is going to be on what OS ?

    think about that. moderate it down for not saying linux is god, but they still can't show a device being plugged into a USB port, detected, and a driver / module install or configuration process initiated.

    and that doesn't make the OS less stable, less usable, actually it makes it very transparent, and very usable.

    today i plugged the 'jumpshot' USB adpater for my nikon digital camera's Lexar memory card into my Win 2k pro box, and it asked for a driver, i pointed it to the recent download from lexar, and in a matter of seconds it all works.

    i want linux to do this. linux can't do this.

    so i don't use it as my major platform. i've hacked and hacked and played with my linux systems to provide music to my entire house, to run tape back up at work, to provide encrypted connections for local telnet to remote consultants..

    it's great. i run it. but where's the intelligent, non-hack hardware support ? i can do it -- i just have better things to do with my time than hack my system just to USE IT.

    thoughts ?
  • You say PCI is not dead... And this is supposed to be good news? While I admit that PCi is a big improvement over the old days of fiddling with jumpers to try to avoid interrupt conflicts, I've run into too many problems with shared interrupts to believe PCI is well-designed.

    If I could stop putting expansion cards into my PCI slots and start plugging in cheap external sound, network, and disk devices, I'd be much happier. I don't care whether it's USB, FireWire, or both, just as long as I can get the peripherals I want at consumer prices and plug them in where I want them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does the USB 2.0 spec say that there will be no conflicts, no freeze-ups, and no lack of support? Cool!

    Why didn't someone think of this before?

  • Since some people (Sony, Apple?) own Firewire, I've heard it said that every Firewire device manufacturer has to pay licensing fees to the above Evil Empires. USB 2.x OTOH, is, AFAIK, free. So while Firewire is becoming ubiquitous, and yes, it comes on digital video cameras -

    • Who has one of these cameras?
    • Do you want to pay someone a %% every firewire gizmo you buy?
    • People HAVE USB already.
    Just my USD .019999.
  • Just to clarify

    "USB 2.0 will extend the speed of the peripheral to PC connection from 12 Mbps on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbps on USB 2.0 - or 40 times overexisting capabilities."

    Although 320X would be nice. :-)

    --Nicholas

  • I was just trying to point out how cheap one could do it... there are radioshacks everywhere... but how many Fry's are there?
  • Actually my old 200MMX had the support aswell...but I don't even own a USB device, simply because there is nothing I am really interested in on that standard. If they start coming out with hard drives and other media devices I will definately buy them, assuming they have improved the speed for data transfer to resonable levels.

    We're just not really concentrating on developing it enough. It has a "whatever" kind of attitude. Which is sad, because I am going mobile in the next couple months (no desktops, only labtops and compact perpherials) and I might have to be using USB for alot of perpherials, I just hope it improves by then.
  • Because it won't be a CD, it will be an audio-DVD. Also, the DMCA makes any attempts to circumvent the system illegal -- even going down to Radio Shack and buying an Op-amp so that you can make a backup copy of the media or use soundbites from the disk for your default beep.

  • I saw someone selling external usb cases designed to receive 3.5" half-height hard drives. You could get them in different flavors: scsi, IDE... I've forgotten who makes them, though...
  • I guess the reason everyone is so excited about USB getting faster is that its kinda like open source software in the light that anyone can use it and develop for it without having to pay any royalties to anyone. Despite the fact that it is faster, Firewire is owned by Apple, and anyone that wants to use it has to pay a small royalty to them. This apparantly pisses off a lot of hardware manufacturers, so unless the really need the speed of Firewire (digital cameras and the like) they'll go with USB every time, especially since its supported on almost all major platforms, both hardware and software.

    I for one am excited about USB 2.0, and cant wait till I am able to get scanners, printers, and webcams that support the new standard.
  • Two of which (USB 1/2) are identical... There is no difference in the ports.

    --Rob
  • Proof most moderators sort by score.

    This is the first post to mention a mistake in the article, yet much later posts are the ones getting modded up because their parents are higher modded.. sucky.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    whereas firewire does not. i read somewhere that intel just didn't want to support a standard that didn't force people to use their products. firewire is becomming quite common(it seems) in DV equipment both PC and non PC based. intel could easily incorporate a firewire interface onto their boards they just don't want to. VIA on the other hand(last i heard) was going to start integrating firewire onto it's chipsets sometime in the near future. with VIA quickly becomming the dominant chipset maker for PCs, you'll likely find firewire on many of the PCs in the next year or so. I still like SCSI. i (personally) don't have any use for scanners digital cameras or any other of those peripherals!
  • I think the reason for that is the technology is changing...as soon as USB came out, another, faster technology (firewire) could already take its place.

    The real problem here was that manufacturers were VERY slow to produce USB peripherals. My Asus Pentium motherboard had connectors for USB ports on it 4 years ago, but until the iMac came along last year (or was it the year before?), there was narry a USB peripheral in sight.
  • The demonstration featured an FPGA bridge designed and manufactured by In-System Design, an I/O design and engineering firm specializing in USB bridging solutions.

    This is the same company that doesn't seem able to write a USB 1.X CD-R device driver that doesn't blue screen Windows 2000.

  • The comment was referring to the inability of USB to act as a networking medium. USB to ethernet adapters don't use USB as the networking medium, they use ethernet.

    cheers,

    Matthew Reilly
  • Listen folks, when talking about external serial links, the speed is always given in bits/sec.
  • Does anyone know what became of this?
    Yup.

    Does the final USB2 spec contain any such anti-consumer features?
    Nope.
    But such "features" wouldn't be implemented at that level anyway. If people are going to implement those kind of things they'll do it at the class driver level. I do not follow the audio class working group, so I can't say what's been proposed there.

    --Rob
  • Just buy the damn CD and be done with it.

    It's not the purchase of the copyrighted material that I happen to object to.&nbsp If you were able to look at my CD/Video/DVD/software collection you would know this.

    What *I* personally object to is only being able to play authorized media on authorized players.&nbsp Then the record/movie/software companies will control what I watch and how I watch it.

    No thanks.

  • Metallica, One (...And Justice For All)

    If I had the time, I'd compile a list of 30 songs, but since you asked for just one (oh, haha, I'm so funny) there it is. ;)

    -----
  • Doesn't firewire allow two devices on the chain to talk to each other directly, without needing the CPU? If this is the case, you could have (say) a FW video camera dump its contents to a FW HDD at the full 400MB/s without requiring CPU intervention.
  • Is that megabit or megabyte?
  • barely touched on external hard drives
    www.nasa.com.au [nasa.com.au] do an external IDE box with a USB interface. It's supposed to be for CD drives and the like, but I put a removable hard drive tray in it and a 20GB hard drive for my MP3 collection. You can turn the box off and swap the drive while the parent PC stays on. I've also used it to read drives where their parent PC is long gone. The reason these things aren't popular is that not only are they slow, but the PC takes a hard performance hit when reading from the drive. (I've been keeping an eye on Firewire hard drives, but I don't have a firewire interface on my portable and my PCMCIA slot is used by a 10/100 network adaptor -- if they was a 10/100 firewire network adapter, I'd switch my one fast data port to firewire.) Even so, I recommend the box.
  • Maybe that's true if you're using PIO modes, but modern IDE uses DMA transfers, so the processor cycle issue really isn't so much any more.
  • it's a capital B so it's BYTE, i think..
  • >Intel has supported 1394 for years

    How so? I haven't seen anything from them in the way of support in their chipsets. NOTHING.

    >1394 will never be cheap enough for a mouse

    It was never _intended_ to be for mice or such things!

    USB & FireWire were to be complimentary, only Intel apparently wants to muscle in on FireWire's territory by upping the USB speeds to make it seem like speed is the only advantage FireWire has over USB, which is not the case. They realize that, that's why they're also backing Serial-ATA for things that they realize aren't going to work with USB 2.x (same things that don't work well with USB 1.x).

    FireWire is already here, and FireWire devices are already here. The chicken and egg problem of FireWire has been solved - Intel just needs to bite the bullet and put support in their chipsets. As do AMD, VIA, SiS, and ALi.

    Whilst on the subject of biting bullets, Intel also needs to bite the RAMBUS bullet - just pay off Rambus and go to DDR full-steam. Ugh.

    And AMD needs to stop smoking whatever it is they're smoking and realize that VIA is not up to the task of producing a stable and high-end Athlon chipset, much less a dual-proc one, and make the 760MP chipset in volume. With AMD, you truly CAN afford a two processor system!
  • by tyr ( 40246 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:27PM (#838410)
    It's only a factor of eight, I know. Call me picky. That's the difference between a bit and a byte.
  • The poster got it wrong, that's 480Mbits/sec. To put this is perspective, 1394 firewire tops out at 400Mbits/sec. So this is marginally better.
  • As gross as some technical details may be, USB 2.0 isn't such a bad idea. They are aiming at making hardware costs cheap for devices.

    As for bringing down your bus speed by using 1.1 low/medium speed devices, that's not a problem. The spec is setup to use a store and forward mechanism within 2.0 compliant hubs so that the bus speed was not lowered globally just to talk to old 1.1 speed devices. (this means you talk at full speed to the hub, which acts as a switch between the fast bus and the lower speed devices).

    USB 2.0 vs Firewire is an EIDE/ATAPI vs SCSI debate. Wait and see what devices and controllers are cheap and ubquitous, those will "win" in the consumer market.

    2.0 compliant hubs will be more expensive due to the logic, but mass produced common silicon is cheap.

  • by Zagato-sama ( 79044 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:28PM (#838416) Homepage
    Uh...480 Megabytes per second? I guess we can scrap all these fibrechannel arrays right?
  • by carlLydick ( 224568 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @08:58PM (#838417)
    I want you to show me a new song (within the last 50 years) that has told some form of epic story using a rock n' roll genre as it's basis. I don't think it exists.

    Obviously you're not familiar with Last Kiss or Teen Angel or that song about the kid who entered a race trying to win enough money to buy his gal a ring but got killed instead.

    Classics, all of 'em. One listen and you'll be straining through your tears to see the monitor as you write your retraction.

  • I think MB is generally thought to mean MegaBytes, and Mb to mean Megabits. The USB 2.0 speed is 480 Mbits, not MBytes... a speedup factor of 40x, not the 320x it sounded like to me on first reading. Just trying to clarify, not bitch.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Stupid argument. You either pay Intel to use USB in the form of their driver chips, or you pay something like 50 cents per device (a ridiculously low licensing fee) to the IEEE.1394 patent pool (*not* Apple) to use their technology.

    You need to license the use of the word (and logo) FireWire from Apple, but that license is *FREE*, and you can use any variety of chips you feel like using, not just Intel licensed silicon. I can buy FireWire PCI cards for less than $30 bucks right.

    Claiming that USB is 'open source' is not only silly, but shows a surprising lack of research on the issue.

    -Harry
  • by mirko ( 198274 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @09:03PM (#838430) Journal
    1. If USB can't beat Firewire, it has to be innovative, hence the USB2.0 version about which I read years ago (this was still being designed).
    2. Of course, the main innovation is the 2.0 (note the ".0" which means there'll be some bug-free 2.1 quite soon).
    3. In the main story : "hardware should be available shortly". So this ain't yet ?
    4. Apple claims a 1$ fee for each Firewire extension, so does Intel (but just won't tell people about it).
    5. If Intel embeds USB2 in the mobos, then addicted geeks will have to trash their existing ones and buy newer ones.
    6. New mobos also have 133MHz SDRAM instead of 100MHz, hence the benefits in terms of RAM sales.
    7. BTW, new mobos = newer (Intel) procs.
    8. Does a picture scanner require a theoretical 480Mbps transfer rate ?
    9. Who uses USB harddiscs when a SCSI adapter is cheaper, doesn't require W98, rocks under Linux/BSD ?
    10. Slashdot should poll people about their favorite way to transfer/store data: SCSI, Firewire, USB, USB2.0, PCMCIA, Parallel, Serial, Ethernet, etc.

    --
  • Why don't we split the difference and talk in Meganibbles?

    Meganibbles - That's what they used to call me in high school.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2000 @08:47AM (#838436)
    USB wasn't meant at all to originally be used for those kinds of things. It was meant to be a simple replacement for old PS/2 and serial ports. It was good that USB was kept lightweight. It made putting USB controllers on machines a lot cheaper.

    I don't see what advantages you tout about USB aren't possessed by Firewire. Firewire devices are hotswapable, and are connected in equally shared long chains -- and Firewire doesn't have the hideous resource sharing issues of USB and USB2.

    You see, USB and USB2 are both processor-arbitrated bus schemes. This is yet another insidious move by Intel to keep people dependent on buying faster and faster CPUs, whereas Firewire allows the devices to negotiate intelligently for bandwidth usage. Furthermore, USB2 requires far more intelligent balancing of devices on the chain than before -- eliminating one of the primary USB advantages, simplicity.

    The problem is that all USB/USB2 devices get an equal chunk of time. This means that if you have a keyboard, a mouse, a scanner, and a digital camera on the same chain, each one gets 1/4 of the 480 Mb/sec bandwidth. Your keyboard may only need the low-end 1.5 Mb/sec rate, but it gets a full 120 Mb/sec. This means that you have to learn to keep your high-end devices off of the same chain as your low-end devices, or you have to get used to unplugging things when a specific device needs the bandwidth. This also ignores the complexities of USB/USB2's star topology.

    With Firewire, it's plug-and-play -- at the expense of more complex driver and hardware controllers. Firewire can even guarantee a dedicated minimum amount of bandwidth. USB2 is an insidious marketing ploy by Intel to destroy Firewire. Since Intel is making it, ignoring the fact that it'll be years since its initial announcment before we see products while Firewire is here and now, it's "inevitable" that it'll replace Firewire. This is a blatant powerplay at the expense of consumers to attempt to make people more reliant on faster Intel chips. It should not be celebrated for "Finally" getting closer to achieving its goal. I hope USB2 dies a flaming death.
  • Firewire never really got over the 1$ a port fiasco, the relatively sane licensing terms were too little too late apparently.

    "Mixing USB 1.X and 2.0 devices will not work well, the USB 1.X devices drag the average bus speed way down."

    Why is this so? Shouldnt the hub isolate the USB 1.X devices and translate their communication to high speed USB 2.0?
  • by hurst ( 221158 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @06:30PM (#838445)

    Take a look at this little article on USB 2.0 [mackido.com] and this one [mackido.com].

    I can say that firewire is here and it works now, beautifully. Why should I wait for manufacturers to develop and implement USB 2.0 mobos and devices? For a measly extra 80Mb/s? I'll wait for firewire to go to 800Mb/s later this year.

    What? No firewire devices besides camcorders? My favorite firewire devices are the sancube [sancube.com] and this portable firewire raid array [vsttech.com].

    Now they (hard drive manufacturers in particular) just need to make some native firewire devices, bridges are just so... inelegant.
  • Sounds like Firewire suits your needs just fine. It seems much more likely that USB 2.0 will be used in lower cost products where saving a few bucks on the controller logic is important. When scanners and printers are selling for under $100, every buck the hardware developers can save is important.

    The features that make Firewire superior to USB as the same data rate, such as peer to peer communications, also make the logic in the devices much more expensive. It's just not cost effective to make USB mice and keyboards.

    I keep hearing the question of why do we need USB 2.0 when we have Firewire. The average consumer doesn't ask why they can't use Firewire. They see some new gadget they want to hook to their PC (maybe a fast CD-RW drive) and ask why they can't plug it into one of the thingys in the back of their computer. (I'm know that there are currently some CD-RW drives that work with USB 1, but when you get to higher X speeds 12Mbps isn't enough.) I don't know how many times I've had to explain to new computer users what all the connectors on the back of their PC are for. Let me explain with an example.

    Your mother comes to you and says that she wants one of those CD-RW thingys her friend in her card club has. Her friend told her to get at least a 12X/8X/32X version. She knows she needs it to be that fast, and wrote down the numbers be sure she got it right. She has a PC she has a PC she bought at Best Buy (the same friend recomended it to her) which has absolutely no drive bays left, and you can't remove her CD drive because she wants to make direct CD to CD copies. After all copying the CD to the hard drive and back out to the CD-RW would require finding the CD image back on the hard drive after it was written there, and things are always "disappearing" on her hard drive.
    So, she starts asking you questions, because although she believes everything here card club buddie says is true, everything you say is suspect. She still remembers you lied to her when you were four. First she asks why she can't connect the funny thing with nothing plugged into it (9 pin serial port). You patiently tell her that the serial port can't be used for that. She asks what's it used for then, and you reply that they are used for mice and modems. This of course confirms her belief that you don't really know what you are talking about. After all, the mouse is already plugged into the little port which has a mouse right next to it (PS/2 port) and for the modem, you just plug the phone line into the phone jack on the back (internal modem). Even she knows these things. She also knows that her printer hooks up to that bigger port on the back, but that the scanner gets plugged in first, and the printer gets plugged into the back of the scanner plug (parallel port scanner). Now try telling her that she really needs this Firewire thing to plug her new CD-RW into.

    Wouldn't it be much easier to have just one kind of port which could handle just about anything your average user would want to attach. USB 1 and Firewire together could meet those needs, but why have two types of ports, requiring two controllers in the system. USB 2.0 delivers the needed bandwidth, while it's relative simplicity of design allows devices to be lower cost.

    It is true that USB can't offer everything that Firewire can. It's not designed for peer to peer transfers. For you people who are more familiar with SCSI terminology, devices cannot be initiators, only targets. There also some other differences, but for the average consumer, who just wants to hook up some neet new peripheral, it really doesn't make a difference.

    USB 2.0 insn't some Intel conspiracy to only use standards they came up with, or maybe it is, I don't really care. It fills a need that exhists in a cost efective manner. Sounds like good engineering to me. Maybe Firewire will find it's niche. I heard that Western Digital came out with a Firewire drive, and Firewire's still a lot cheaper than FibreChannel. Or maybe it will end up like the Apple Desktop Bus, something that really seemed like a good idea at the time, but just never took off. Apple sure seems to have a lot of those.
  • The actual transceiver design may have been borrowed from FireWire, but what really makes a standard is the support infrastructure around it such as the device framework and drivers, not the low-level electronics.

    Intel has supported USB on its chipsets for a long time before Microsoft had any kind of software support for it in Windows 95 OSR/2. It took more than a year until they released Windows 98 with halfway decent USB support and ironed out most of the remaining bugs in hot plug'n'play and other parts of the system with Windows 98 Second Edition. Overall it took more than 3 years.

    Do you want to wait this long until Microsoft gets it right with 1394?

    USB 2.0 will leverage this miserable experience and make sure that we don't have to go through this again. It will just replace the low level host controller driver and use all the upper layers without modification.

    Personally, I don't care much for Windows, but the peripherals will not be on the shelves for us Linux geeks until they are supported by Windows.

    ----
  • Well, call my cynical but this appears to be a way for Intel to sell more DSP chips.

    FireWire is here, now, faster than USB 2, installed on all Macs, just about all Digital Video cameras and many scanners, hard drives, CD roms, zip drives, printers etc.

    The really nice thing about USB was that it's really cheap, perfect for cheap peripherals that don't need high bandwidth like mice, keyboards, webcams, cheap scanners etc. FireWire is nice because it's high performance but (was) more expensive.

    Now Intel are trying to make USB high performance but FireWire (an IEEE standard) is already there. The only possible reason for this that I can think of is to control the standard and try sell everyone their own DSP chips.

  • While the USB web site claims that USB 2.0 is the bee's knees, they are a bit misleading when they give performance numbers. As this article [fastware.net] points out, the backwards compatablity of USB 2.0 eats into the speed by quite a bit. And according to this article [mackido.com], USB lacks a lot of features of Firewire, may add significant complexity to hubs, and require more costly cables. (And I thought that I was getting ripped off on USB cables today!)

    USB is a great spec, but USB 2.0 isn't the right solution to the problems that Firewire is designed to solve.

  • by fett ( 188029 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @06:32PM (#838468)
    USB 2 is a poorly executed hack perpetrated by Intel purely because they couldn't handle having to pay the FireWire licensing fees.

    FireWire (even the 400 Mbps 1394a version that is currently shipping) is superior to USB 2. It has several important advantages, perhaps the most important being that it is root-independent.

    FireWire explicitly includes peer-to-peer transfer. You do not need a computer to hook FireWire devices together and let them communicate. On the other hand, USB is explicitly designed as a computer peripheral bus--the root node must always be a computer. Without a computer powered on and managing the Universal Serial Bus, it's useless.

    FireWire's isochronous support came first and is more robust than USB's. Up to 90% of each USB frame is reserved for isochronous data (combined with interrupt packets like mouse clicks), compared to 80% for FireWire. However, USB's isochronous cycles trigger every millisecond, where FireWire's trigger eight times per millisecond, making more efficient use of bus time by dividing it into smaller intervals. FireWire's higher bus speeds make it a far more robust isochronous transport.

    FireWire allows bridging buses together, up to 1023 of them. There are already USB bridges in discussion (perhaps available), but they skirt the edges of the specification. If you can plug a single device into two computers through USB, each computer will see the peripherals downstream from the "bridge," but the bridge has to include lots of special logic so the two computers don't try to use the same peripherals at the same time. I'd be awfully wary of plugging a disk drive into such a setup.

    It's hard to say whether USB 2.0 will overcome these deficiencies--but if it does, it will basically be FireWire. Intel was a great proponent of FireWire until just about the time the company realized they were going to have to pay royalties on chips like every-one else. That's when Intel decided that FireWire was useful only for consumer electronics (like camcorders), but the quickly-invented USB 2.0 would be the preferred way to connect printers, scanners, disk drives, and so on. Since the licensing fee matter was decided, all those companies that had been ambivalent on FireWire are again behind it--including Microsoft--except Intel.
  • There is an IEEE-1394 patent pool for which you have to pay per system, whereas the USB 2.0 adopter's agreement costs you nothing apart from a license to technique's used in your implementation of the standard.
  • by SomeOtherGuy ( 179082 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @07:29PM (#838483) Journal
    My goal is to have each device on my machine use a different interface!!! (SARCASM ON)That would be Cool(SARCASM OFF)

    SCSI for my Jaz
    FireWire for my Camcorder
    USB for my Rio
    Parallel for my Printer
    PS/2 for my mouse
    Serial for my Dig Cam
    and finally....drumroll please....

    USB2 for that Scanner I have needed for a long time...

    (What a wasteland hardware has become!!!)

  • Actually I have a stack of about 20 5.25" drives I've pulled out of systems that have crossed my path (usually nonfunctional when I got them). As for 8" drives, I've used a few, but never had the chance to take apart a system containing one, and I never cared enough to research what type of connection they used.
  • The legal system can't stop me from wandering down to radioshack and picking up a 1M resistor and a 741 opamp.... Christ, their security scheme could be bypassed for $2.50 in parts!!!!

    Perhaps, but if you want any quality at all a 741 op-amp is a braindead idea. It was pretty good back in the seventies (actually it wasn't good, it just was the only decent op-amp back then) but nowadays there are MANY better options (like the cheap and good TL072).

  • Just as radio isn't even a candle to television in any sense.

    Do watch TV while driving the car?

    Ever notice how TV news stories are 80% told in the voice-over? The pictures are usually either library or establishing shots.. Shut your eyes during the next TV news bulletin and see how much you miss out on.. not much is my guess.

    TV and radio are two different media; each has their place.

    And here you go again: Reading a good book at a library or perhaps going to a nice play or even opera is better than getting pure music.

    Making statements of your opinion as if they are some kind of fact is bogus. Many would disagree with your statement (I would personally), but I wouldn't claim my personal preference was a self-evident truth. You can't prove (or disprove) an opinion, (unlike a belief).

    Never generalise! :-)

  • He. Yeah, either that, or find some crazy people with good soldering skills to design a Firewire adapter for the AGP port. Running at the maximum of 4X, that should provide 4 * 4B * 66MHz = 1056MBps of bandwidth. Since nodes in a cluster typically run "headless" (i.e., without monitor), this could actually be practical... I wonder if anyone is doing that--using the AGP port for things other than graphics? Sounds like a neat hack. ;^)

  • 32-bit PCI busses allow for only 132MB/sec (32 bits at 133Mhz) or 264MB/s (if you're lucky enough to get a 64-bit extension on that bus of yours).

    That's why Apple uses an 64 bits PCI chip inside every new G4.
    32 bits PCI is not the standard for the future.
    The future is 64 bits PCI at 66 Mhz. (That's around 512 Mbyte/sec).
  • Why is this so? Shouldnt the hub isolate the USB 1.X devices and translate their communication to high speed USB 2.0?

    From what I've read, when the host is talking to a USB 1.X device, the entire USB bus runs at USB 1.X speed. Every time slot assigned to a USB 1.X device results in the entire bus running at low speed during that time slot. The USB 1.X hub doesn't behave like a packet switch, more like an signal buffer/amplifier.

  • 64-bit 66 Mhz PCI can go 528 megabytes per second. This baby does 480 megabits per second or 120 megabytes per second. Even plain old 32-bit 33 Mhz PCI does 132 megabytes per second. The current Fibre Channel standard supports up to 4.24 gigabits or 542.72 megabytes per second. Single FC adapters are already pushing 190 MB and getting faster. After working with this kind of stuff, I have to admit that USB seems downright slow. Now if only FC would get cheaper...
  • The USB hub's and controller's have translator's, all communications between high speed devices occur at high speed.

    Wouldn't this require the replacement of all USB 1.X hubs with USB 2.0 hubs/translators? Some existing USB hubs are built into other devices, like keyboards and monitors, and can't be easily replaced.

  • by CMonk ( 20789 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @06:59PM (#838515)
    Get over it. I get pretty tired of people complaining about per port fees paid to Apple. There is a very simple way of avoiding them, call it "1394", call it "i.link" or call it "Bob, my fast thin friend". Apple's fees are a pretty poor excuse not to use FireWire. It's an open standard and it works, it works fast, and it works fast now.
  • Won't happen

    USB will not allow two computers (hosts) to be on the same bus. This is the major drawback to USB vs FireWire.

    USB was is and plans to be a host/slave system. A computer is required to control the peripherals.

    FireWire is compeltely capable of carrying network traffic and there are RFCs and an IEEE working group defining the bridges, switches and protocols for this to happen.

    FireWire is a masterless bus system that allows multiple computers to share peripherals, or each other's data. You don't even need a computer! with enough smarts a FireWire capable TV could play movies from a FireWire hard drive.
  • The really weird part is that USB it is such a great standard, but in reality it is not used much where it could be useful. I think major applications include perpherials, like cameras, scanners, etc.
    But they have barely touched on external hard drives and devices of that sort. I beleive Evergreen had come out with one, but that is really the only hard drive device I have seen.
    I think the reason for that is the technology is changing...as soon as USB came out, another, faster technology (firewire) could already take its place.
    Maybe we should concentrate on one specific technology and expand on it. That way it will become more useful.
  • by StoryMan ( 130421 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2000 @04:51AM (#838527)
    You're wrong.

    It's not the music that people are after. That's part of it, yes.

    But while I agree with you that, sure, we should pick our battles -- and, sure, "human life" is more important than music -- understand that what's at stake here is freedom of expression -- and the last time I checked, freedom of expression -- freedom of speech, however you want to spin it -- is a fundamental freedom that is constantly in danger of being snapped up not by government itself, but by corporations manipulating technology, manipulating government, and, ultimately, manipulating consumers.

    The battle isn't about music. It's about the way in which art is controlled by corporate interests. For fuck's sake: it's no secret that in America (at least) government more often than not is in the pocket of big corporations. Sure, Microsoft lost their battle against the government, but it doesn't take a MacArthur Fellow to realize that no matter what the outcome of big business versus big governement, the winner will *always* be big business.

    It's for that reason that people are concerned about music. Sure, human rights are important. No one here will deny it. But, as you say, you gotta pick your battles. Fundamental intellectual freedoms are as fundamental to human life as any other freedom. Please don't assume that all Slashdotters are so short-sighted to believe that all we're doing is bypassing encryption or trying to get something for nothing.

    In this case -- the USB topic -- what's at stake is control and the extent of said control. Corporations -- RIAA, MPAA, whatever -- what absolute and total control. They don't have foresight enough to predict technologies, but they sure as shit know the "bad" technologies from the "good" technologies once the technologies start to threaten their profits. This is not about music. This is not about USB. This is not even about the poor schmuck of a artist who makes the music.

    It's about corporate profits. Corporations will throw all their economic might against anything that threatens their profits -- or threatens their *potential* profits.

    So don't get all holier-than-thou and pretend that music doesn't count. Or pretend that that on one side there's human life and the "real issues" and on the other side there's the crazy Slashdotters who care only about encryption and getting something for nothing.

    Freedom is something -- and it's not for nothing that freedom in any form is something that must be fiercely protected and vigilently maintained.

    Corporations will have you believe otherwise. Corporations will have you believe that your entitled to what they *give* you -- and believe me, pal, that ain't much. They want you to believe in their version of freedom. Freedom of the corporations to "grant" consumers what they (the corporations) think the consumers need. And the corporations think we should be grateful -- because without big business controlling and manipulating the consumers, we'd be (to paraphrase David Mamet) a bunch of savage shitheads in the wilderness.

    Corporations want you to believe in the second coming of Acme, Incorporated. They want you to believe and be grateful because, boy, Acme Incorporated has what you need.

    Well fuck you and fuck Acme Incorporated. That's what all this about. Fuck Acme Incorpoated why? Because fuck their profits. Their profits are dollars and pounds and marks and francs out of our own fucking pockets.

    We're buying the Porsche's for the suits who run these corporations. We're buying the luxury apartments of the CEOs who get their golden parachutes when the stockholders suddenly realize that Zippy the Second Coming of Christ isn't pulling in the sort of profits we, er, think might be appropriate.

    So fuck the music. Fuck the USB. This is about insuring that everyone gets a fair shake. This is about making sure that corporations know their boundaries. They can't just walk the fuck into our living rooms and kitchens and open our refrigerators and take our fucking bread.

    This is about saying, wait just a fucking minute: the buck stops here. You and your band of corporate bad-breath-startac-talking-Porsche-driving-italian -suit-wearing-pinheads just can't plunder every fucking dollar I earn and take the food from my mouth.

    That's what this is about. And, yes, it's as important as any fundamental human issue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:31PM (#838534)
    My mouse will no longer be my bottleneck, yes.
  • by David Price ( 1200 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:31PM (#838536)
    In a previous Slashdot story [slashdot.org], it was reported that some of the USB specs were being closed to non-members; speculation in the discussion indicated that the closures were made so that CSS-style trusted-client content scrambling could be introduced into USB2 devices (for instance, encrypted signals to digital speakers so that the audio can't be captured over the USB bus.)

    Does anyone know what became of this? Does the final USB2 spec contain any such anti-consumer features?

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:32PM (#838539) Journal
    MPEG videos being played on a ZIP drive
    RIAA comes unspooled. Film at 11.
  • ---
    Consider the standard COM port. That is a piece of gold there. No change there. Nothing changed, everything got 100% perfected for it good linux support and the like.
    ---

    Actually, COM ports have changed quite a bit over the years. Different UARTS allowing for faster than 9600bps transfer rates, etc.

    ---
    Consider the *interface* for modems. The hayes compatable/AT command set virtually guarantees that the modem will work under linux and work well with almost anything that follows the spec.
    ---

    I do tech support for a living for a very, very large computer manufacturer. They sell modems from 3 manufacturers, and short of ATA, ATDT, ATZ, ATI, and the other very basic AT commands, the command sets are completely different. Why? Because there isn't a standard. They just followed the leader at the time (Hayes).

    ---
    Standard 1.44 Megabyte floppy drives are another little consideration. They work flawlessly and well for what they do.
    ---

    I certainly wouldn't say a 1.44MB floppy was flawless. And want to know the history of the floppy drive? Get a start by looking at your BIOS and older floppy drive cables. The 34(36? I forget) pin connection is for 3.5" floppies, while the other type is for the 5.25" (and perhaps 8") drives. Also, take a look at the different sizes and formats for floppies. Anything from 120kbytes to 2.88mbytes depending on what you pick up.

    ---
    Sure some crazy people thought that paying something like $10 per individual media was "cool" and "progressive" for things like LS 120 disks or even more for zip cartriges and other junk but it's expensive and difficult to justify for anything but the most necessary purtchesses.
    ---

    The biggest selling points on Zip and LS120 and gang are speed and size. 1.44mbytes doesn't cut it for anything but the most basic of uses today, and that was true even 8 or so years ago, when the first 2.88mbyte floppy drives started hitting the market.

    ---
    CD burners havn't come down in price at all
    ---

    The original CD-R drive was something like $6000 and either 1X or 2X. About 3 months ago I picked up a 4x4x32 CD-RW drive for $120, and can pick one up for under $100 now.

    Hrm.. Did I just get bit by a troll?
  • Where can i pick up my 3.75Gbit (480*8/1024) timothy just forgot to correct the typo. Darn...

    Mark Duell
  • Just buy the damn CD and be done with it.

    You mean that CD that will be obsolete in a few years because the industry wants to see you the same music all over again in a new format? And the CD whose metallic layer will oxidize away? The CDs that only fit into large, cumbersome portable CD players?

    I paid for the music once, and I don't intend to buy it again. I have converted my CDs into MP3 so that I can keep them around easily and use them in a small portable player. I have also converted vinyl to MP3 because some classical recordings aren't even available anymore in modern formats.

    All of that is fair use of content that I paid for, not piracy. If the music industry wants to go to a complete rental model for music, they better start by lowering their prices drastically. Otherwise, their are engaging in fraud: claiming to sell you content while knowing full well that its lifetime is limited to a few years.

  • I think most people agree that, while USB 1 was excellent as a low cost device interconnect, USB 2.0 is a stupid "me-too" kind of product--technically inferior to FireWire and likely to be not significantly cheaper. So what are we going to do about it?

    Buy FireWire for your external interface needs and contribute to the Linux FireWire effort. FireWire devices are here. You can pick up FireWire PCI cards for under $100, and external FireWire disk enclosures taking an IDE drive for $150. There are some scanners, CD-RWs, and other peripherals, in addition to the A/V FireWire devices. FireWire is quickly becoming a feasible substitute for SCSI.

  • The current Fibre Channel standard supports up to 542.72 megabytes per second or 4.24 gigabits per second. Single controllers are already going 190-200 MB/sec. Meanwhile gigabit eithernet is only moving at 128 MB/sec (some go a bit faster). They are using Fibre Channel for SANs with multiple RAID arrays connected. Needless to say, it flies! Pretty soon files will be loaded before you even open them! :-)
  • Yes I have seen articles linked below which said as much... but their respective writers were apparently a bit too much firewire zealots to point out the obvious alternative which the USB forum has chosen. The USB hub's and controller's have translator's, all communications between high speed devices occur at high speed.

    You are quite correct in that it has been reported, but those reporters were quite wrong. Pity that they couldnt be content with just arguing Firewire's strongpoint but had to assume weaknesses on USB 2.0's without proper facts to back the assumption up... if they had at least pointed out the obvious alternative I would have had some respect for them, but as it is those articles were just partisan propoganda.
  • Well can the PCI bus handle 480 Mb? Yes. 32-bit 33 Mhz PCI goes up to 132 MB/second, more than enough. 64-bit, 66 Mhz hits 528 MB which blows this away. PCI isn't dead yet.
  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @07:44PM (#838557) Homepage
    In USB 1.x a low speed device (1.5mbps) occupies the entire bus and takes time from standard speed (12mbps) devices.

    In USB 2.0, though. the hubs have buffers and do active rate matching. A standard speed device will NOT bring down the speed of the bus and will not get in the way of high speed (480mbps) transfers. The silicon space to do this is quite negligible these days.

    Intel has supported 1394 for years - it was going to be the successor to IDE. In USB conferences prior to 1998 they kept talking about how USB and 1394 are complementary - 1394 will never be cheap enough for a mouse. If something made them change their mind I believe they have a real reason.

    ----
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well I'm not sure what the terms for licensing IEEE1394 from the standards body are, but Apple doesn't (currently) charge a license fee for the using the FireWire Trademark. You can verify this here [apple.com] or just read the info below

    FireWire TradeMark Agreement

    The FireWire word mark is an Apple trademark and must be licensed for use by third-parties. There is currently no licensing fee. The agreement is a 5-page Adobe Acrobat file, and contains all the information and guidelines third-party developers need to license the FireWire word mark for use on product packaging, advertising, and other product marketing materials.

  • This is great, and I really encourage people to continue to develop more devices for USB, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the outcome of USB is, and how it will tie-in peripherals and components, but we need more support for other operating systems. I've read that USB keyboards and mice are supported at least by linux, which is a good first step, but the vast majority of USB devices are things like cameras and scanners. Till things like this get supported, I'm forced to just look at them on the shelves. No computer today comes without USB ports, and it's just really frustrating that OSs like BSD, Linux, and BeOS can't take advantage of them. oh well, es la vida...

  • Speakers will eventually be made tamper-proof like cable boxes. A speaker that has been opened will refuse to accept encrypted streams.
    <O
    ( \
    XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! [8m.com]
  • I was floored when i saw the 480 MB/s...Whoa.

    But then, I headed to the website to see that it is 480 Mbit/s.

    Damn...I would've been going out to buy the new USB 2.0 PCI cards tomorrow evening

    Anyway, a little more on topic, this is pretty cool stuff. I have a scanner, webcam, and occasionally a 100BT network adapter (among some other random things sometimes) plugged into my USB ports, and I can't use more than one at one time without severely affecting the performance of all the others. My Intel webcam goes blank when I'm transferring a large file over the ethernet!

    I doubt that anyone cares about my trials with USB 1.1, but this is sorely needed if USB is to have a future. This definitely is giving it a good jolt and allowing it to remain a competetive, popular, easy to use standard with firewire and Serial ATA (I don't know too much about this...is it still in the works? What's the difference between it and, say, firewire?)
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:38PM (#838565) Homepage
    USB 1.X works, it's cheap and standardized. Why does Intel insist on screwing it up by trying to make it into a high speed interface, something it was not designed to be? Mixing USB 1.X and 2.0 devices will not work well, the USB 1.X devices drag the average bus speed way down. USB 2.0 silicon is too expensive and power hungry for cheap peripherals like mice and keyboards.

    Firewire (IEEE-1394) is here today, works better at high speeds, an IEEE standard, with working silicon and device drivers. Why not use it?

  • That's pretty simple. Not too many computers are shipped with firewire pre-installed.

    And why is that, do you think? Could it be because our "good friends" at Intel, who make the most common chipsets, are more interested in pushing their own separate standard than in adding 1394 support? You better believe that having USB displace 1394 is worth more than $1/port (the original 1394 license fee, now a quarter of that) to Intel.

    Who wants to put more money in Intel's pockets? IMO AMD and VIA missed a huge opportunity by not putting 1394 support into their chipsets just to stick it to Intel and their "standards".

  • The fact that you listed off more than one device connection ought to tell you all you need to know. USB stands for UNIVERSAL serial bus as in it works on any type of computer no matter which sort of processor or computer you have. If periphrial manufacturers can make a single product that works on multiple system architectures they have just entered several markets and saved themselves money.
  • I want you to show me a new song (within the last 50 years) that has told some form of epic story using a rock n' roll genre as it's basis.

    Rush: 2112 (from the 2112 album)
    Rush: The Trees (from Hemispheres)

    That's just one artist. Want more?


    --

  • Hey, if you're willing to sell me a 500MHz 51GB/64MB computer for $300, I'm game.
  • by VFVTHUNTER ( 66253 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:49PM (#838584) Homepage
    480 Mbits for USB, or 60MBytes per second. Firewire is supposed to go to 3200Mb sometime in the not-so-far future. That's 400MBytes per second. A great idea, you think, for that personal Beowulf cluster you've got sitting around in your basement - just implement TCP/IP over firewire, and you're done. But wait! 32-bit PCI busses allow for only 132MB/sec (32 bits at 133Mhz) or 264MB/s (if you're lucky enough to get a 64-bit extension on that bus of yours).

    Time for a new architecture, I think.
  • Why can't I just rip from my CD? Or am I missing something...
  • by patreides ( 210724 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:51PM (#838588)
    Well, time to wait three more months for the 2.4 kernel to include THIS too...

    Stop inventing standards so fast! It's GNU, we have to play catch-up! (most of the time, this is true)

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