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Is firewire dying? 365

According to an Article found on Infoworld, IEEE 1394 (a.k.a FireWire) appears to be dying, while Intel updating the USB specs to 2.0 with speed expected at 360-480MB per second range. Intel is not (and will not) supports the FireWire on their core logic chipset. I think it's a sad thing when a technology is dying.. What do you think about it folks?
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Is firewire dying?

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  • Thats simply not true based on their internal design specs. Hubs supporing USB 2.0 are switched, they have mini host controllers inside of them and proxy the packets from 1 Mbps or 12 Mbps up to the final speed.
  • "Read that last sentence carefully. Somehow, I don't read this as a declaration that firewire is dead, or even sick. The problem lies with biased reporting and provocative headlines, not with the technology or even the marketing."

    Not to mention these common Slashdot responses that seem to be the main threads here:
    1. Apple must die because they are greedy/closed/stupid: So therefore, Firewire must die. If A is bad then B must be great!
    2. Ill informed or outdated knowledge: "That darn Apple, charging $1/port That's too much!" No, that's Intel FUD. Nevermind that Apple lowered the licensing cost to $.25 per system. People don't know/care about that. I also doubt many people here know how much money OEMs make on a particular hardware component, yet in this case they repeat what Intel said.
    3. People not reading the actual article: Seems about half the time people here just post knee-jerk reactions to the headlines without even reading the original article. Much as you pointed out the supposed reporter did.

    Look people. USB 2.0 is vaporware. You bitch about MS doing it, but in this case it must be okay because Apple owns the patent on IE1394. What logic! I guess if Intel released a press release saying Apple was dead and it was quoted in the PC press, that must mean it's true.

    Sheesh. Less quantity more quality.

  • by heroine ( 1220 )
    Maybe the price of camcorders will go down if Intel licenses USB cheaper. Apple seemed to fix the price of Firewire well out of the range of rational thought, which drove camcorders through the roof.
  • Actually, the AC's have provided several links. Here is one repeated at a starting score of 1 (although that might change).

    http://www.1394ta.org/Press/1999.05/12.h tm [1394ta.org].

    Why should it suprise you that they dropped the price months ago? It doesn't seem to suprise you that everyone else lowers their prices.

  • The IEEE policy [ieee.org] on patents allows them to be used in IEEE standards if the patents are licensed at a reasonable rate and without discrimination.
  • Here's an informative URL:

    USB 2.0 vs. 1394 [edtn.com]

    For the lazy and/or illiterate, here's the bottom line:

    • IEEE 1394 licensing is not an issue anymore (patent pool)
    • IEEE 1394 does 400Mbps right now.
    • USB 2.0 is "expected to perform in the 360-480Mb per second range" some time in the future.

    USB 2.0 could conceivably push IEEE 1394 into a niche, but it would be a huge, huge shame, and it would have absolutely nothing to do with superior technology. What else is new in the PC industry...

  • who trusts them anymore?

    Oh yeah, Microsoft and Intel are so much more reliable.

  • I agree that there were many USB products before
    the iMac. I was using a Mouse, Keyboard, and
    Camera before it's release. Most vendors said
    they had plans for USB products, but they
    hadn't been released yet. The iMac accelerated
    the release of these products. I hate to do
    this, but I have to give them credit for this.
  • I agree that Mackido is a little biased, they seem to think that Microsoft is wrong all of the time, unlike Slashdot, where we're more fair, and think Microsoft is only wrong 99.999% of the time!
  • Hmm ... there's a box labelled 1394A in the diagram but it doesn't go into more detail. Anyone care to shed more light one it.

    Athlon Chipset [amd.com]
  • The price for a 2GB or a 4GB hard drive that supports FireWire is ridiculous.

    Its a matter of supply and demand, and as demand grows the price will drop.

    More importantly, USB drives are just as expensive, and you have a max transfer rate of 12 megabits instead of 400 (soon to be 800 and eventualy 1600).
  • I'd like to see a $2 design for a generic firewire interface to a microcontroller. The connector alone would take up a good bit of that. It's a pretty fancy design if you look at it. Now we have to add a physical interface chip to drive the signal (about $5 from lucent in a 64 pin package) and enough smarts to interface from a microcontroller to the device on the other end. Don't forget the power supply/converter.

    Now add all of those devices and try and put them in a small package like a drive. Combined with the normal drive controller hardware for a high performance unit and you get a large package without some fancy board layout.

    So we have moderate to high recurring costs and high non-recurring costs. Plus a cramped layout to fit the consumer demand for size. In a few years I'd expect to see a single chip solution like USB, but bigger and around $2-$5 without the connector.
  • why didn't these companies just come out and admit that they don't like giving Apple any money, even if its for a cool technology like Firewire.
  • There has to be communication logic in both places though. At least with USB you can have one 'dumb' device like a keyboard or mouse that only takes commands to itself over USB, runs them through the mechanism, and gives back a state value or binary from the eeprom. If you have mutual data transfer going on between two devices, they both have to be smart.

    For instance, I hook a USB-enabled hard disk up to my computer, and all it does is look at the driver and send seek messages, read/write messages, etc to it. With firewire, the device has to be smart enough how to load and save files from itself. A Firewire DVD player, for instance, has to send _encrypted_ video over the wire, and the connecting host has to have the logic to decrypt the data. This is a good example of devices getting very complicated and how not having a device in control limits forward-compatibility (supporting devices you haven't seen yet)

    Firewire is cool (although it looks to be little more than a network with device-powering built in). USB is cool too, it was designed with manufacture of cheap devices in mind. The implementation of USB is much cheaper right now, both in devices and on the motherboard, so Firewire's main advantage is speed and disadvantage is price. While I see Apple doing much to market its advantage, they are also doing things like charging for usage, which makes the price differential even higher.

    Unfortunately it is hard to compare a USB device against a Firewire device since they are completely different markets, but you can add a USB-enabled microcontroller to your hardware to make it USB-compatible for under a dollar. Firewire costs a more than that just to license.
  • Doh ... further inspection indicates that FireWire isn't part of their chipset, merely that it would be connected to the PCI bus ;(
  • ADB is not supported on the iMac or G4 Macs (without a USB-to-ADB adapter or somesuch). It is a dead technology. It was Apple's single, self-powered, self-configuring, keyboard and mouse interface for the past 12 years.

    RS422 and "the stupid d-sub vga connector" have not been on a Mac since the introduction of the iMac and Blue and White G3's over a year ago.
  • lacie has a 20GB firewire drive for 500 buckeroos
  • Someone scored this post down to a 0 - why? Seems pretty much accurate to me.

    While the consensus amongst those who need to do more research is that 'Firewire is dead', those of us in the Mac community are happily plugging away with the technology. All Macs with exception to the iMac and iBook have Firewire standard (replacing the otherwise pretty fast SCSI). the next major rev of the iMac is rumored to come with at least one firewire port, and the iBook is sure to follow.

    Slightly more expensive, but the graphics professionals andsuch who rely on it could care less. $50-70/hour chargeout rates will do that to a guy.

    Someone - moderate the parent post up. Promote sanity on Slashdot!

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • That 25 cents wasn't even considered in calling it expensive. I was talking only about the hardware implementation and design costs.
  • Boy, that AC sure got you.

    >From the IEEE 1394 Trade Association Website:

    How's the foot?

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • 2. USB reqires a computer

    To use USB, there must be a computer (or at least an intelligent hub) in order to allow transmisions; you can't just go camera to camera. FireWire makes no such demand: you can easily connect two cameras directly, with no hub whatsoever.

    Yes, but you cannot connect any firewire device to any other- they are universally compatible. For instance, you can't plug a Firewire DVD into your camcorder to tape your favorite movie while in blockbuster (hurry! hurry!)

    With computer control, you get the ability to have drivers upgraded for new devices, that is if they device doesn't conform to standards already in place (like the human interface device standard)

    5. FireWire guarantees speed.

    FireWire can say to a device, "You need a constant 200 Mbps data flow? Sure!" Whereas with USB, it's more like, "well, if your friends don't hog the bus too much, I'll see what I can do." No promised rates.

    There is a guaranteed rate, but it is computer-controlled, not device controlled. If the operating system cheats you, you can't blame the standard right? But on the other hand, the standard is a bit weak on how a new device is supposed to convince the OS to negotiate more space than the leftovers it has. I haven't read the IEEE specs, so I don't know if they account for renegotiation.

  • But it's not dying on the Apple side of things. Seems to be going strong there with more and more products being introduced and announced as we speak.

    Remember USB was pretty much going no where also until Apple brought it out in the iMac. How many USB devices were there before iMac? How many now?

    Many might say that it wasn't the iMac that made the jump in USB popular...but then just look at all the translucent USB devices that go along with the iMac's color scheme.

    I see Firewire not moving as fast as USB...but I don't see it dying out any time soon.
  • Ha ha! No mater where you go you're carrying a little bit of Apple with you!!!

    Oh man, now you are going to give me bad dreams...

  • Sound just too good to be true.
  • Firewire has (had?) much greater potential than the lame USB. I was at one time excited by USB, until I discovered how limiting it is in cable length. USB has potential only in home computing. Firewire could have become an adjunct to 100Mb Ethernet. Perhaps the shenanigans of Apple with respect to royalties have brought us to this point.

    I suppose now we must hope for gigabit Ethernet to become cost-effective and pervasive. Perhaps then we can consign the wimpy USB to the dusty closets of history.
  • Intel's a big corporation, and they're support (or lack of it) may mean the demise of firewire of the PC side of things. But I think the Apple has every intention to stand behind it's product and support it, they're for, I think it'll be around for a good while longer on Macs'
  • >Intel leads the market.

    Intel doesn't lead anything. You can build all the USB ports you want, but most Windows machines right now don't even have working USB 1.0 software. Only Windows 98 has passable USB support, and it's not even in the same ballpark as what Apple has done in Mac OS. It certainly doesn't give manufacturers the feeling that they can ship devices out the door and not worry too much about tons of support calls.

    Go back and read Intel's press release about USB 1.0. It was going to immediately kill the old-style serial and parallel ports and lead to a new age of plug-and-play computing. The only place that happened is on Macs. Last year, for publicity, Intel plugged 111 devices into a PC to set a world record, but many of them didn't work. The next day, Apple employees plugged 127 working devices into a Mac while drunk.

    I'm not mentioning this as some sort of Mac vs PC thing. I'm just pointing out the history of the adoption of USB 1.0 and saying that USB 2.0 has a similar road to go down. Wintel + IBM, Compaq, Gateway, Dell, et al is one great big company with competing divisions and it doesn't move quickly. Especially Microsoft.

    Meanwhile, Firewire 2.0 is totally alive and totally well ... built into all digital camcorders, all high-end digital still cameras, all blue and silver PowerMacs, lots of Sony PC's (they don't call it Firewire, though), other PC's through add-on cards, some PowerBooks and the upcoming iMac revision. Lots of devices available, the software is mature, the hardware is cheap, no hubs required, and Firewire 3.0 will double current performance.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's not an issue anymore
    From the IEEE 1394 Trade Assocation:

    "Apple Computer, Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and the newly joined companies Canon Inc., Intel Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Zayante, Inc. today announced the implementation of a joint licensing program for patents essential to the IEEE1394 digital interface.
    At this time, the eleven companies have decided to license essential patents. For the convenience of the potential licensees, the portfolio will contain essential patents which cover those portion of the Specifications (IEEE 1394-1995, IEEE P1394a and IEC 61883 Part 1) required for their products to be compliant with the Specifications. In addition, these companies intend to include the IEEE P1394b specification, which has not yet been adopted, in the license. The patents can be licensed for a fee of US $0.25 per system regardless of the number of components that incorporate 1394 PHY LSI.
    Other patent holders are encouraged to participate in the joint licensing program. Interested companies should submit a letter stating their interest and listing the patents that they own and believe to be essential. The period for submitting these documents is from May 15 to June 30, and interested patent holders should contact Gerrard Beeney, Esq., at Sullivan & Cromwell, at the phone number and address listed below:"

    BTW, firewire is not dying. That's what Intel would have you believe, since they don't own it like USB (which Intel DID NOT invent, contrary to popular belief) IEEE 1394 (called firewire by Apple) is more open than USB is. USB belongs to Intel, and 1394 belongs to the 1394 Trade Association, not Apple, again contrary to popluar /. belief.

  • by Quazi ( 3460 )
    I don't ever remember it "living"? In all of the computers I've used, in all of the computer stores I've been to (including the one I work at), and from all of the people I've talked to, I've never heard of (or seen) anything that uses Firewire. Maybe you could count the iMac, but that's a "foreign world" as far as I'm concerned.

    "Everything I think I see, becomes a USB device to me!" -- distorted lyric from the old Tootsie Roll ads.
  • USB is improving, that's a Good Thing. It's got a lot of shortcomings today. But Firewire is better suited by it's very nature for higher-end tasks like digital video editing, hard drive connections, and _high-end_ scanners in the prepress range. It's likely that Firewire will never be the mass technology that USB is and will continue to be, but it's going to be perfectly safe - like SCSI is to IDE.

    Remember, Apple includes it on all their high-end desktops (and supposedly on the Kihei iMacs), Sony has it on much of the Vaio series systems (including some laptops), and a lot of the newer digital camcorders use the interface as well. Firewire doesn't degrade under contention the way USB does (and legacy USB devices will probably have a negative impact on a USB 2.0 system), and that's another factor in Firewire's favor. Intel may not like it, but Microsoft supports it, Apple supports it, and consumer electronic companies support it. Firewire's not going anywhere. Unfortunately, InfoWorld has an Intel-centric view here (if it's not on the chipset, it's doomed).

    - -Josh Turiel
  • by Pascal Q. Porcupine ( 4467 ) on Sunday September 05, 1999 @04:38AM (#1702516) Homepage
    I've noticed that although FireWire has yet to show up in PC applications, FireWire has its place in many other niches where USB doesn't have a "stronghold." For example, look at embedded computing devices such as the ReplayTV [replaytv.com], which uses FireWire for expansion purposes. FireWire also seems to be more useful for notebooks, since it has much lower power requirements (in that it powers the devices from a single, central power supply, namely the computer, and that devices need to be engineered to take as little of this power as possible).

    That said, it would be a shame if FireWire really did go extinct. Imagine all the ReplayTV owners who would be unable to add more harddrive space when they could finally afford it after paying such obscene amounts for the box. ;)
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • Just admit that Apple gave USB the jump start for it to take off.

    There were plenty of USB devices available before the imac, I had my USB intelemouse, USB joysticks, printers, scanners, etc etc

    Yeah, all of one or two deivces in each category. Sure, USB connectors have been standard on PC motherboards for a while, but that doesn't mean that people were using them.

    Thats because normal PC users will take a cheap parallel printer over a slightly more expensive USB one, same with mice, keyboards etc.

    For one of the owners of the 2 million+ iMacs out there, they have no choice but to use USB devices. Thus, the USB market finally starts to take off.
  • Yes, it's true about the packets, but the hub holds the 1.0 packets until they equal a 2.0 packet. Only then are they sent out. This does damaging things to streaming video or audio. There are other problems as well.
  • It's nonsense about Intel being lobied. Compac has stated that Firewire will be a big part of their stratagy. IBM has announced products. So have other computer makers.

    The thing about this is that Inlet is scared of Firewire. They need to sell CPUs to be viable. Firewire negates that need. Intel would like us to wire our home networks of audio, video, home protection, coffee makers, air conditioners, heating systems, and other devices to a computer. Firewire allows us to do without one, perhaps using the Tv screen to set the devices.

    The FCC has already MANDATED a firewire port on all future HDTV devices, set-top boxes etc.. What will this do to Intel in the post pc world that is being spoken about? Is there any wonder they don't want to support it any longer?
  • ---
    I agree, it is a sad thing whenever a technology dies. I think of my 386, with its 2x scsi cdrom on the soundcard, and I think of microchannel pc's...there's something beautiful about oddball computers.

    This is all well and good, but Firewire isn't dying from what I can tell.

    It's like saying SCSI died because it was pretty much supported exclusively in Macs for the desktop market. If Firewire is as good as dead, someone should tell Sony and Apple.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • Firewire is sleeping. Bottom line its faster.Firewire is not sitting still. Multimedia in general is not getting any less bandwidth hungry.
    Currently the largest deployments of firewire have been seen on upcoming and some current consumer electronics. Apple will do something slick like bundle a fireware equiped iMac with a video camera that supports firewire. That will get people moving.
    USB had a fair amount of peripherials out for it before Apple came out with the runaway hit called the iMac. Now their is hardly a USB peripherial out their that doesn't come in atleast a shade of "Bonsai" Blue, or "Blueberry."
    You will see Firewire show up on VCR's, Camcorders, and professional equipment. It is already Apples G3's and G4's. And is just waiting for that consumer kick. Intel's USB was dying a slow death before Apple kicked it into overdrive. The same thing will happen with Firewire.

  • This is utterly hilarious. Because "I haven't used a floppy drive in almost 5 years..." you think they are obsolete. I congratulate you for your technological foresight, but you can be assured that millions of us use floppies every day. There is no other removable media at 60 cents per disk.

    Furthermore, Windows 9x and NT can boot off any device connected to it as well. I boot NT off a Castlewood Orb and 98 off a Zip.

    The iMac is a success because of gullible non-technical families with a little extra dough to waste.

  • They are a hardware company. Making their OS under the GPL would totally screw them. Of course they have no problems with linux on the PPC because it encourages people to buy their hardware to run it (they are a minority in the market), but they aren't going to give up the source for their GUI so that people can take cheap x86's and run OS X.
  • ...portable SCSI drives are cheap. They are also fast. They are also simple to get a hold of.

    Btw, unless you have a few dozen things connected to your firewire chain, how is 1600 megabits per second data transfer rates for the bus important to a hard drive, whose physical limit is, at best, 20 megabytes per second right now?


    P.S.: You might make more friends if you didn't insult people right off the bat.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Yeah, and while we're bashing the industry leaders, $0.25 per system is a far cry from the hundreds of dollars Intel charges as a "licensing" fee for its latest Pentiums, right? I enjoy paying $500 for a piece of ceramic which actually costs pennies to make. I mean, who does Intel think they are, raping us users when they could be giving away their stuff for the good of the industry.

    Damn Intel, too, for not letting other companies use "Pentium" as the name of their CPUs--I get so confused when AMD keeps coming out with those damn "K-this" and "K-that" stuff...or is that Cyrix?

    Screw those companies who spend millions developing stuff. Anarchy rules, dude. Screw everybody, while I get mine.

    Next chapter: the Microsoft foundation.
  • All of the PCs I've seen so far with USB (and, of course it's the current slower version) have two ports. From what I've read, those two ports have an independent path back to the rest of the system. So would a potential fix be (on a USB 2.0 system) to plug the fast devices into one port, and the slow ones into another?
  • I still don't see an easy way to attach a mass storage device to a PC on a temporary basis to get files on and off the system. Where the Mac user has been used to plugging and unplugging external, portable hard disks (via SCSI) from systems for years as a way of transporting large amounts of data, the PC user still has to suffer through ridiculous gyrations of attaching peripherals to "ancient" I/O systems to do this.

    The fact that "hot-plugging" SCSI devices is a good way to fry them notwithstanding, I've been able to do this for years on my PC with SCSI as well. Yes, it is available on PCs too, go figure. Just because you haven't witnessed people using SCSI in this way on their PCs doesn't mean it's not possible.

    SCSI qualifies as "ancient" in my book, btw.

    name any task on a PC, and it can be accomplished in an order of magnitude less time and hastle than a PC with a Macintosh.

    Use a Sony Mavica digital camera on an iMac.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • It aint' FUD if it's true. Apple still taxes the ieee1394 ports. It may not be a lot, but of course a money making venture is going to tend towards the open standard that should be equivalent. Once again Apple is fumbling the future with yet another draconian hardware hegemony.
  • Apple didn't carry SCSI alone, the high-end market did. Right now there's only one Apple product that comes with SCSI standard (Powerbook, and that isn't even using SCSI hard drives), and you don't see SCSI dying now, do you?

    SCSI is a prerequisite for anyone's 'Dream Machine', everyone WANTS SCSI, it's just that it's so expensive.

    Although I don't agree with your opinion, I agree with your conclusion, firewire will not die, at least not anytime in the near future, high-end users (Which does include Powermac owners) will still see the benifits of firewire, especially since it's designed for digital video, along with computer connection.
  • There are IEEE1394-USB cables, haven't used one myself though. Check out Fry's or something. I know that there 1394 PCI cards for abot $100 though.
  • ---
    (Disclaimer: I'm a Mac user. Uh, sorry, or something.)

    Good lord, that's the funniest thing I've seen in a long-ass time.

    BTW: I'm a Mac user too (clone, actually). Err, sorry?

    I don't mean this in a negative way, but this kind of analysis typifies the Mac v. PC debate. The typical PC user's assumption being: "I expect to pay no more than _x_ for _blank_ commodity since I saw _blank_ advertised for _x_ somewhere." Whereas the Mac user says "I need to do _y_ with my computer; how can I do this in the most efficient way, where _blank_ commodity is one piece of the puzzle."

    Exactly. Price is rarely the primary consideration for Mac users - at least, those that I know. I guess it can't be, considering Apple's high prices (they're much better now, though). Apple simply doesn't make commodity systems, for better or for worse. The kind of people who buy Macs aren't generally thinking "gee, should I get this Apple system or a cheaper PC", they're thinking "gee, which Mac should I buy". PCs don't enter into the equation. Especially now, after the last 4 or so years shook out most of the fence sitting population.

    Even now, the prevailent reaction of many Mac users toward other operating systems is disgust - particularly Windows. My take on it - MacOS has a sort of 'feel' to it, like you know the creators fell in love with the project. Linux has the same exact feel, even though it's a drastically different operating system. Both were made by artists with different intentions. Windows, on the other hand, is/was made by suits.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • Yeah, all of one or two deivces [sic] in each category. Sure, USB connectors have been standard on PC motherboards for a while, but that doesn't mean that people were using them.

    If those USB-supporting PC motherboards had dropped the parallel, serial, mouse, and keyboard ports, people would be using USB on PCs. But those motherboards didn't, so people bought and used the cheaper non-USB parts. The iMac forces you to use USB peripherals.
  • Who guarantees you that apple will not raise the fee to 20 bucks anytime in the future? or forbid "clone makers" to employ FW anytime in the future? or when apple decides to cut FW because "it has no future" (things like floppies and serial bus come to mind) and withdraws all third party licenses and you are stuck with your FW peripherals with no new supporting HW available? Does that sound nice to you?

    No, that sounds horrible. Good thing it's impossible, huh? Apple does not control IEEE 1394. Like any IEEE standard (802.3 ethernet, etc.), it's completely open and not controlled by any single private company. There are license fees involved, but those fees are split among many companies (Compaq, Matsushita, Philips, Sony, Toshiba), not just Apple. This is how the electronics industry works. For example, Philips and Sony collect license fees on every CD player made. Let's try to keep the FUD under control here, people.

  • ---
    25 cents a system is pretty pricey for that $20 CD player -- or even a $100 stereo system -- companies budgets are tight -- and 25 cents can make a real difference.

    Right. And if you are in the market for cheap crap for hardware, more power to you. Apple has stated that they have no interest in the $399 PC market, and I for one am thankful.

    As far as I'm concerned, eMachines can have that market, and the inflated support costs related to it.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • The license started @ $1/port, now it's $0.25/port.

    FYI, the price of camcorders is on a steady downward trend, like all new electronics technologies. When digital camcorders hit the streets, they were professional-only devices, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Now, they're under $1K.

    Nobody "drove camcorders through the roof", they came out at a high price, which is falling as volumes permit. The effect of a 25 cent license on the price of a camcorder is miniscule.

  • You seem a little sensitive on this issue, AC. If Intel doesn't want to pay Apple to use it's technology, how is that FUD? Intel doesn't include support for the G4 in it's motherboards either, is that FUD? Gimme a break. You seem more paranoid than insightful to me.
  • As a DV filmmaker, Firewire is the bomb. I won't be hooking up my camera to the USB port anytime soon, and you can bet the thousands of DVcams out there will still have Firewire (1394) ports.
  • Quite a while.
    Until every machine has a newer read/write medium.
    The ONLY thing that remains the same from machine to machine is the under appreciated floppy.

    Keyboards - different
    Serial Ports - 25pin -9 pin one/two one on mouse one on modem.
    Printer Port -almost always 25 pin, but usually taken by a printer or maybe not, or maybe disabled, or not having a compatible mode.

    Nope the one thing I 'almost always' know is there is the pathetic, worthless, lets me get stuff in and out floppy drive.
  • Firewire is dying, you say? Better tell Sony, Matuashita (or however you spell it), VST, Apple, IBM, Epson, and the TV industry that! Heck, even Microsoft is developing for it (anyone else notice a rift between Intel and MSFT lately?). It's in camcorders, computers, hard drives, HDTVs, need I go on? Peripherals are coming in at a slow pace, but that's hardly dead.

    Intel is just blowing smoke. USB 2.0 is just a white paper, and still won't be as fast as Firewire 1.0. They just can't stand the fact that they can't control it.


  • Imagine a computer with only usb and firewire connections...

    Umm... kinda sounds like a G3 or G4 PowerMac. :-)
  • Apple (if they have any business sense) does care about whether firewire is adopted! FireWire is built into every new G3/G4 desktop. If PC's adopt FireWire as a standard, there will be lots of devices that those macs can use, which goes towards eliminating the whole "macs never have any hardware" argument. As for your quote

    "Why would your average computer user need a hyper speed external port? " I leave you with a quote from Bill Gates in the early 80's
    "I don't ever see anyone needing more than 640k of RAM". Ukab's Law: "Data expands to fill the bandwidth allotted."

  • Because I prefer to build my own system, source my own parts, etc, and desire to get the most I can for my money I'm a lousy customer? WONDERFUL business ethic there.

    And I don't call $2000 for $1200 in parts "a little more." Especially not a system that's hamstrung by an OS as broken as MacOS is. ESPECIALLY when real-world performance for the tasks I accomplish is better on a cheaper PC system.

    There are people who buy prebuilt systems. That's what Dell, Compaq, Gateway, and HP are there for. You're paying a premium for them to assemble the system and provide software. But don't try to tell me that PPC components are SO EXPENSIVE that Apple couldn't slash prices dramatically and still turn healthy profit. Remember, these are the people who were pulling down 60-70% profit margins on their systems in the 80's. Still think Apple is all buddy-buddy? BAH!

    If you want an Apple computer that's not much more expensive than the components plus labor? Buy IMac. Of course the processors won't run most next-gen software at anything resembling satisfactory speeds. But that's not iMac's purpose. It's a disposable computer. Good enough to get people's feet wet. Not much more.

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • Cite your sources, AC. Everyone says this, no one shows it. I guess that's the advantage of hiding behind the AC wall...
  • The iMac is a success because of gullible non-technical families with a little extra dough to waste.

    er... yes. That's the idea. BMW's are for gullible non-technical people who appreciate good design and have a little extra dough to waste, too. That's what we call target demographic. There exist people who are not averse to paying a little more money for the peace of mind of knowing that they do not need any technical knowledge to wield technology, that someone has taken the time to put it in terms that they can understand. Know something else? There are a LOT more of them than there are of us. And they have money, ergo, companies cater to them (see also capitalism).

  • > The price for a 2GB or a 4GB hard drive that supports FireWire is ridiculous ...

    You're looking at the little pocket-sized ones (from VST probably) that take their power from the Firewire bus. They'd be expensive no matter what the technology ... they're notebook drives in little custom enclosures and they're built to be carried around and roughed up a bit and still work.

    You can get an 18GB 7200rpm external Firewire drive for $400 (I just did recently). It's an IBM drive in a MacTell "Firepower" enclosure. That's about the same price as the equivalent SCSI drive but its plug, play and forget. Add another by plugging into the first all the way up to 63. Works NOW, works great.

    Everybody here who's mourning the passing of Firewire along with Intel is in great danger of making a fool out of him or herself.
  • IEEE1394 is free to implement? Not that I would know, but then wouldn't that nullify Apple's position? I mean, the name "FireWire" is pretty cool, and that little icon of thiers to sit next to the port is pretty snazzy, but hardly a hardware manufacturer would pay a dollar (or a quarter, is that's the price now) for that pleasure. Where did you get this information?

    (And why the hell does everyone post in AC mode unless they are posting sensitive material?)
  • So what? If Intel doesn't want to pay the $0.25 per system or the $1 per port, then it doesn't have to. There is no requirement that every hardware company has to support every new technology that rolls down the pike. If Apple wanted the ports to become the high speed standard they would have given it away. Instead, they choose to play the same stupid game they tried playing in the '80s (the one that nearly bankrupted them I may add) that says that discerning consumers are willing to pay through the nose for technology that is superior. Well, it didn't work very well then, and in this age of sub-$400 eMachines, it works even less now.
  • the IEEE 1394b spec is the 800mbps connector you are talking about, that is being developed by an open consortium and will not serve to subsidize Apple's past failures. I think that's a great idea. That will bring the transfer rate up to 100Mb/sec which is faster than SCSI-3.
  • BTW... 1.44 FD's are just about the most expensive
    media there is per mb, but per disk is another matter.
  • According to an Article found on Infoworld, IEEE 1394 (a.k.a FireWire) appears to be dying, while Intel updating the USB specs to 2.0 with speed expected at 360-480MB per second range. Intel is not (and will not) supports the FireWire on their core logic chipset. I think it's a sad thing when a technology is dying.. What do you think about it folks?

    I think HeUnique should actually read the linked article before he posts it to Slashdot. With the exception of one anonymous comment, every negative thing said about Firewire came from Intel! As Firewire comes from Apple, and USB 2.0 is being developed by Intel, don't you think they'd be just the least bit biased? This is no different than SCO's derogatory comments toward Linux.

    Like an unloved house plant, IEEE 1394 -- the high-speed peripheral serial bus -- appears to be dying on the vine

    Sony loves it. Apple loves it. Compaq doesn't necessarily love it but they have it on their systems. The audio/video industry is having massive orgasims over Firewire. More importantly on the PC side is that Intel's lover Microsoft apparantly likes it and has it in their specs for future PC's.

    In October, at Intel's USB developer conference in San Diego, the chip giant is expected to release the final specification for USB 2.0 which will, it now appears, have an equivalent performance to IEEE 1394.

    The specs which might be released in October are equivilant to current Firewire speeds shipping today! I hate it when people compare products that will come out in the distant future (USB 2.0, Playstation 2) with today's technology (Firewire, TNT2, Voodoo 3).

    USB is expected to perform in the 360-480Mb per second range or 60MBps, while current shipping versions of IEEE 1394 perform at 400Mbps.

    See what I mean? By the time USB 2.0 devices start arriving. Firewire will be at 800 megabits with 1200 on the horizon. By the time USB 2.0 devices are common, Firewire might be at 1600 megabits!

    "1394 deployment into the PC platform has proceeded more slowly than expected," said an Intel document

    As somebody pointed out before, this is a joke considering how long it took USB 1.0 to catch on. Bet they didn't give Apple any credit for jump starting the market with the USB only iMac.

    One key factor in the "slower than expected" deployment of IEEE 1394 may be that the bus is not supported by Intel in its own core logic chips.

    Oh, of course if Intel doesn't support it it must be dead, right? Then the PowerPC must also be dying. Oh, and Intel didn't come up with Apple's Airport strategy, so of course it will be DOA when the iBook starts shipping.

    The Intel Web site also cited "uncertainties about cost and licensing," for lack of IEEE 1394 adoption.

    The "uncertainties" were settled earlier this year when Apple droped the fee from $1 a port to 25 cents per system. Even on a $300 peice of shit computer, that is .0083% of the cost.

    Last year Intel cited video conferencing systems, high resolution scanners and printers and auxiliary data storage as devices that would benefit from the IEEE 1394 bus but this year the company is citing the same peripherals for use with USB 2.0.

    Not going to happen. For the same cost or maybe a little more, you get much higher bandwidth, peer to peer connectivity, longer cables and guaranteed bandwidth.

    If Microsoft make a press release that Linux is dying because they don't support it, are you going to post that too (as a serious article)?
  • Intel is acting like they are afraid they will lose control. I'd say it's about time!

    What the non Wintel companies learned, you will lose if you play their game. What Apple and other companies have done is re invent the game. I like firewire, I like QuickTime, I like Linux.

    We are reinventing the game, we don't need MS or Intel, we have AMD, we have PPC. MS office, who cares? Star office or Applix is just fine thank you. Even AppleWorks does all a businesses really needs. USB 2.0........ yawn!
  • The thing that held back support for USB was the fact that until June 1998, no operating system really supported USB devices in true "plug and play" mode.

    It wasn't until Windows 98 shipped in June 1998 and the iMac shipped in August 1998 that there was major software support for USB devices. Since then, there has been many USB devices shipping, primarily keyboards, mouse pointers, scanners, digital cameras, and a few other items. USB is now very important: even Linus Torvalds said that the Version 2.4.x kernel for Linux will sport USB device support.
  • I don't think this is bad for Apple. If Intel adopted Firewire then PC's could use Cams and other peripherals that only the Mac's use. That would be terrible for Apple because they would loose their market.
  • Aren't Firewire and USB both going to be on the Playstation two anyway?
  • ...if you're trying to copy from one USB storage device to another. You see, USB 2.0 doesn't support peer-to-peer networking. It's on a star topology, so if you wanna copy from one volume to another, the info has to go from the first device to the computer, and then goes through the USB chain a second time to the destination storage volume. That eats up double the bandwith it normally should and results in horrible latency problems. Firewire, on the other hand, doesn't require a CPU to babysit the information from one point to its destination. If data needs to get from one point to another, it goes straight there without needing to go through the computer and hence travels through the pipeline once. Intel designated USB to be the cheap, low-cost connection standard, saving chipset cost by forcing the processor to handle a lot of the traffic overhead and it's beginning to show.

    Now that we have that taken care of, Firewire is here. Now. My company has a Sony DV cam that I record stuff with. I dump it to my computer using Firewire and Final Cut Pro (which remotely controls the camera through the Firewire, let's see USB do that) and edit it on my G3. I dump it out to the camera through Firewire and the camera dumps it to a video tape through an S-Video cable. I am doing this now. Can USB do this at 720x486 @ 60 fields per second? No. Will USB 2.0 be able to do this, whenever it comes out? Maybe, but I'm not risking any of my video editing projects on it, considering what I've read about its latency problems.
  • lacie has a 20GB firewire drive for 500 buckeroos

    Cool, I'm glad prices are falling that fast. Internal or external?

    What you Apple bashers need to realize is that you can have 67 devices per firewire bus, and it is possible to do RAID with it. So if you ran out and bought a 10 gig hard drive every three months, in two years you would have 80 gigs to store all your mp3's. And thats not even counting how much capacity will rise in relation to cost.
  • I read an article about this. I wish I remember where I saw it, as it was pretty convincing. The basic argument is that USB 2.0 is a too little, too late attempt on Intel's part to make sure that they don't lose control of the peripherals storage market. It would be a shame if they succeeded in killing Firewire.

    The main reason Firewire is better is that Firewire is here now, and USB 2.0 is set to achieve equivalent speeds a year or more from now. By that time, second-generation firewire will be out, which will boost speeds. In addition, I've read that there are technical issues with USB 2.0, and that Intel's time table and performance goals are optimistic to say the least.

    The article also said that USB 2.0 would not have some of the features that Firewire has, and will be hobbled by backwards compitibility with the current USB. Looks to me like FUD on Intel's part to kill a technology that is technologically superior.

    Anybody know more about the two technologies?
  • Intel is trying kill Firewire because it doesn't require a computer on the bus. That scares the hell out of them. It's the same reason USB 2.0 won't ever replace Firewire: it's useless to the (very large and powerful) consumer electronics industry.

  • "That's just plain juveniel and idiotic"

    Is not...

  • by znu ( 31198 ) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Sunday September 05, 1999 @10:12AM (#1702643)
    Please update your information.

    Firewire licensing is $0.25 per _device_ not per port, and Apple doesn't even get all of that (it's divided among all the companies involved in Firewire development).

  • It's impossible that Sony will. USB needs a computer on the bus, and Sony wants you to be able to hook that camcorder with Firewire up to that TV with Firewire and that recordable DVD with Firewire. Firewire is the future of consumer electronics, and it'll be really nice to be able to hook all this stuff up to your computer as well.

  • I actually predicted this about 5 or 6 months ago while talking to some friends of mine.

    The price for a 2GB or a 4GB hard drive that supports FireWire is ridiculous. Nobody would pay that kind of money for such a small drive, regardless of it's speed. Sure, it's a great technology, but think about supporting it. If a company has to license the use of the FW BUS from Apple *choke*, then build the unit, then sell it at a high price, you're not going to get many buyers when there's a cheaper alternative. Not only that, FireWire was introduced with very bad timing. USB is much more cost efficent, and actually has comperable performance for an end user.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Your correlation just doesn't make sense for several reasons.
    1) Firewire is a growing technology. More and more devices are being developed to take advantage of it. (That is not happening with SCSI)
    2) Consumer Electronics are already incorporating or very soon will incorprate Firewire as their primary communication method.

    Total cost to Intel for installing Firewire on the Motherboard in their standard chipset would be under $1, not counting the ASICs.
    Per port cost of firewire are very low. Firewire is dramtically cheaper than SCSI because it only uses 6 wires and a very small connection standard. (The unpowered variety- called i-link by Sony only uses 4, omitting the Power lines, and is considerably smaller)

    Texas Instruments is shipping millions of PHY and Host Controllers that are the only two chips needed for Firewire. Together they can be had for under $20 and that is with all the "fees" paid.

    The 1394b spec is in the works which will have provisions for 800Mb/sec, 1600Mb/sec, 2400Mb/sec and maybe even 3200Mb/sec.

    Firewire is here to stay, no matter what INTEL tries to say or do.
  • P.S.: When I heard about the Apple FireWire Licensing, THAT was the nail in the coffin. :)

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • by shambler snack ( 17630 ) on Sunday September 05, 1999 @04:52AM (#1702670) Homepage
    You can lay the death of FireWire at the feet of Apple Arrogance, along with the failure of the Mac OS interface (and the subsequent rise of Microsoft Windows).

    FireWire is being priced right out of the marketplace by Apple's licensing requirement, which I believe runs at US$1/device that implements it. That may not sound like a lot, but costs are high enough, and margins razor thin, that $1 means a big deal when it's applied to millions of devices, especially from one manufacturer. What we have here is history repeating itself. IBM did this with Micro Channel in the late 80's. IBM was going to charge a licensing fee to every manufacturer that wanted to make motherboards or add-in cards. Instead, the industry, lead by Compaq and including Intel (the Gang of Nine) came up with EISA. That led to VLB and finally to PCI. IBM has since learned, as witnessed by their free release of a PowerPC motherboard reference design. That would have never come out of the IBM that gave us MicroChannel.

    Apple is too greedy to take the long view. Apple should have given away the spec to FireWire and evangelised its use in everything from disk drives to camcorders to digital TVs. Then it should make FireWire a common port on every Apple system. With Apple being the standard creator, and providing powerful systems to take advantage of all those FireWire enabled devices, the market might have seen considerable advantage to buying Apple (there are no guarantees). But Apple will never learn. And with Steve "Reality Distortion Field" Jobs back in the saddle, it will stay mired in the business practices of the bad old 80s.

  • Hmmm. And me that thought everyone was able to see through this one when USB 2.0 was first announced. Ah well...

    First let's get it clear it's megaBIT not MB (megaBYTE). Meaning that it's going to be about as fast as FireWire is today.

    Second USB 2.0 specs was first released just after Apple made it 'expensive' to make FireWire ports.

    Third the specs are clearly a bit too ambiguous. They want to make USB both back AND forward compatible on the same cheap (read: low-quality) cables and connectors they use today.

    And then there is the fact that USB 2.0 is not going to hit computers before 2001. At that time FireWire should have reached at LEAST 800 megabit (it's in the works).

    And finally FireWire is a lot better suited for highspeed transfers since it reserves 20% for datatransfers as opposed to USB's 10% (you can see how that counts on a chain with many devices that makes a lot of isynchronous traffic that's what the other %'es are used for if needed)
  • USB is patented also. In fact there are lots of patents over USB equipment. Go over to:
    http://www.patents.ibm.com [ibm.com]
    and search on universal serial bus. You'll find patents for USB speakers, USB microphones, USB connectors, etc....

    Firewire is getting low support for 2 reasons - Apple is doing goofy things with the licensing of the patent and no one is sure what the heck is going on. and 2) firewire is intended as a replacement for scsi/ide buses and those systems are coping with current systems pretty well.

    Until current needs of average users exceeds the capabilities of scsi or ide you won't see a demand for firewire. and without demand....


  • Another key difference as I understand it is that Firewire is a generic peer-to-peer bus, while USB is based on a host/peripheral concept. In other words, with Firewire you could plug your digital camera directly into your digital VCR, while with USB you would have to plug both of these into your (Intel Inside) PC.

    USB really pisses me off. The concept of having low-speed desktop peripherals all connected to a common serial interface is a good one; it was called Apple Desktop Bus. USB seems to be overly complicated and buggy for this sort of stuff, while at the same time it's underpowered for audio/video applications.

    The USB/Firewire fight seems very similar to the IDE/SCSI fight, and I fear that once again the crappy technology is going to win, simply as a consequence of the enormous marketing power that some companies have. (BTW, I have a hard time believing that SCSI is inherently any more expensive than the kludged mess of primary/secondary IDE controllers and parallel-port adapters that we've ended up with once people realized that computers might need more than 2 storage devices).

  • I didn't hear about that licensing crap from Intel. Take a look here [slashdot.org].

    Notice I said "5 or 6 months Ago." :P

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • rather than worry about whether or not Intel supports firewire and if in choosing not to support it, why not question whether or not AMD will support firewire?

    Lately, Intel has been doing a couple of stupid things, and the company that has been the quickest to take advantage of those things has been AMD, especially with their new Athlon systems. I think that if AMD chooses to support Firewire in their next systems, as well as IBM supporting the technology, and maybe if Apple decides to stop being morons about it, this technology will prosper and make intel look like morons for choosing not to support it.

    The only thing that Intel is doing by not supporting Firewire is limiting their machines and limiting the users that purchase them.
  • You're right. USB is a great solution for low-end, low-bandwidth peripherals. Ethernet is great for networking. But until USB 2.0, even Intel was puching Firewire as the standard port for high-bandwidth peripherals. This includes digital cameras, external hard drives, digital video, some scanners, and similar devices. Firewires is (IIRC) several times as fast as most SCSI implementations, and has the advantages of dedicated bandwidth, plug-and-play, hot-swappable design, no terminators or SCSI id's to fool with, and peer-to-peer architecture that allows any device on the bus to communicate with any other. In other words, Firewire is a lot better than SCSI for high-end HDD's.

    Firewire was *not* aimed to do everything under the sun. It is positioned to work in concert with USB and ethernet: USB for the low end, ethernet for networking, and Firewire for high-bandwidth devices. That's how Apple's professional desktops are designed, and within a year all of Apple's other products will be as well (iMac in a few weeks, PowerBooks in a few months, iBook might be a while yet.) USB 2.0 is attempting to be all things to all people, and as a result it is going to be mediocre all around. Firewire is simply a better technology targeted at high-bandwidth multimedia and storage devices.
  • Nope. Almost a year ago, Apple settled with everyone by lowering the licensing drastically.
  • Yes, that is very true -- and here is some proof that Firewire is here to stay:

    - October Sound and Vision Mag -- (http://www.soundandvisionmag.com) -- a glimpse into the future of digital audio / video.

    It basically talks some about how firewire in the future will replace those good ole' phono cables, for all but the cheapest hi-fi systemes and speaker wires. The benifits are obvious -- especially if all stereo gear agrees on a open protocol -- you get 5 channel sound, running through all of your pherials daisy chained. That would make setting up a stereo sooo much easier, computer hi-fi audio would finally exist (pop that nice black PC above the AMP and under the EQ).

    Anyway's when can I buy my Firewire phonograph -- I want one now!

    Another article on why Firewire is better the USB-2.0 is at http://www.MacKiDo.com/Hardware/USB20.html That basically explains why Firewire is a better bus for high-end stuff.

    At any rate, remember SCSI wasn't standard on, PC's until the mid-90's, and many PC's still use the old slow pararell port. So we will see... if Firewire continues to be hit, then good, if not, there is always USB to fall back to.
  • This article [mackido.com] talks in-depth about how badly USB 2.0 will handle heavy traffic.

    Here is a particularly interesting note:
    There is another issue there as well. If you are going to keep backwards compatibility, then all your older or slow speed devices (like Printers and Keyboards) will slow down the bus. If you have a on slow device (say a printer) that is talking at 12Mbps and taking 50% of the total bandwidth and another device (say a Disk Drive) trying to talk at 240Mbps and they split the bus (each gets 50% of the time) -- then the fast device can really only get about 120Mbps (or less). The slow device is actually stealing 120Mb of potential bandwidth (50% of the time) even if it is only sending 6Mb of data in that time. Now imagine that you have 15 slow devices and one fast one (a not so uncommon scenario)
  • This is exactly right. I loved the part of the article that quoted an Intel spokesperson as saying
    1394 deployment into the PC platform has proceeded more slowly than expected

    I mean, what about USB? It's been around for over 5 years and just now it's beginning to be widely adopted. Intel is trying to kill Firewire just because they didn't invent it.

  • >Does anybody here ever use an RS-422 serial port to do anything?

    iirc, that's what the Mac serial ports were (prior to geoport). I used it for years to network my law office.

    hawk, esq., who has now gone years without a Radio Shack flunkee claiming that the RS before 232 was because Radio Shack invented it . . .
  • Sony, the oft-forgotten codeveloper of IEEE 1394, markets its FireWire technology as iLink (since Apple owns the FireWire trademark). Most, if not all, Sony DV cams come with iLink, and most DV cams come with some form of 1394 capability. Check out 1394ta.org [1394ta.org], Apple's FireWire Site [apple.com], and Sony's site [sony.com] for more 1394 info and devices.

    Remember, this is Sony we're talking about. They are far larger than Intel and I doubt they'll let a technology they helped develop just die. PSX2's going to have FireWire ports for external hard drives and stuff, I don't know about USB2. I doubt FireWire's going anywhere.
  • I suspect many potential FireWire users became wary of FireWire when Apple tried to impose licensing fees of $1/port.

    Whenever a single company tries to control an important standard and loses the market, I think that's a good sign. Let's hope other companies notice.

  • (like Firewire doesn't work well with long distances).

    USB is even more limited distance-wise. It is designed to be a cheap, low-performance bus, and so it has crappy cables not designed for long distances.

    - Fast Enough for Multiple Streams of 5-channel uncompressed audio, plus DVD or better quality video.

    Firewire is faster right now than USB 2.0 is slated to be. And that won't be out for a year at least.

    -Support Large Networks.

    Not a chance. Intel has a host-device architecture, and doesn't do peer-to-peer connections. Therefore it makes a lousy networking solution. Firewire has peer-to-peer networking.

    - Be an open standard.

    Firewire is IEEE1394. USB is not overseen by any independent standards board.

    - Support Peer to Peer Connections

    That's not in the specs for 2.0.

    - Be Simple enough that cheap hardware could support it.

    That was the big draw of USB 1.1, but I've read that USB 2.0 will need much of the same logic as Firewire to do the necessary high speeds. That means that it will be every bit as complex as Firewire. Not only that, but backwards compatibility with USB 1.1 will require additional logic on top of that, so USB should end up about the same price as Firewire.

    - Work with all populuar Audio, video, and Computer gear.

    Firewire is already there. Most camcorders and digital cameras today have Firewire ports, and firewire hard drives have started appearing.

  • Er, check this article out:

    http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG19990 827S0032 [eetimes.com]

    Basically, it looks like several companies banded together to produce 1394 transmissions at 2.4 gigahertz. Let's see USB 2.0 do that.

    Firewire isn't going anywhere, this is more lame "news" from an increasingly biased source (Infoworld).

  • copied from News.com
    Dateline : Cupertino, CA

    In stunning news today, Apple Computer, Inc. announed that since its computers will not be using Intel chips, this may be the end of the line for Merced as we know it.

    "I just don't see how Merced can survive" said one industry analyst. "I mean, if even ONE person doesn't have an Intel processor shoved up his ass, then that's one more person contributing to the demise of Intel!"

    Sources at Apple, who refused to be named, said that "this all could have been avoided" if only Intel were gracious and forgiving enough to allow a non-Intel designed standard to have made it to market.

    It is believed that IEEE 1394 is the standard the source was referring to.

    "Does Apple even make real computers? How can you listen to the company that makes those Apple 2's anyway!" said John Kissass from Dataquest. "Really, i mean, if Apple" he chuckled, "says that the sky was some strange color, and Microsoft and Intel tell you the truth about our green sky, who are _you_ going to believe?"

    It is not known if Intel is planning on closing its doors forever because of this staggaring announcementm suffice to say that even one person making up their own mind and not using Intel standards could spell the end of the WinTel reign, its possible that, somehow, Intel will make it through the day.
  • by ApheX ( 6133 ) on Sunday September 05, 1999 @06:35AM (#1702798) Homepage Journal
    No-one at all can say which is dead, and which is not. Just as many posters before me have noted. Look at AMD and Intel. Everyone said Intel ruled the market and AMD would crumble at their feet. Yet AMD has just released a processor that blows the _current_ Pentium III's out of the water. This kind of thing happens so many times. Unless your the proud owner of a time machine, you and no-one else knows whats dead, till its dead.

    You must also remember that USB and FireWire while being similar, are not one in the same. FireWire components can exist WITHOUT a computer. So you can (conceptually) go out and have a Sony HandiCam with firewire, plug it into a VCR with FireWire and transfer all your video, at very high speed to the VCR, or vice versa. Or any other number of components you have can talk to eachother with FireWire without the need to have a computer. And since PC's can support FireWire, you can also plug that same cable into your computer and do all the same there.

    With USB (currently) you are usually always plugging the USB component into the computer. Not hooking one component to the other. This means, that if you go out and buy a product with USB on it, your ONLY use for it is with your computer. Now, I understand that many, many people have computers these days, but there are still many that dont have a computer at all. With USB components you have just lost this entire segment of the market. FireWire currently has its obvious andvatagaes, and like it or not, DOES have some large backers such as Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Compaq to name a few. These companies as Im sure you will agree are NOT small time. Yes they have all seen their fair share of their products that don't succeed. But FireWire is certainly far from dead.

    Regardless of both these things, I would like to see some kind of standard come into place. I own both USB products and FireWire products and would like to see one single standard, or a possible interopability. But until then, or until one is entirely phased out, no-one can say who is 'king'.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    True, Intel's new USB spec has overcome the speed issue of the current IEEE 1394 devices. However, it still has a long way to go before it can replace FireWire. Here's why:

    1. Digital camcorders

    Go to any good electronics store today, and look at the digital cameras. Notice anything? Almost every single one has a FireWire port. Now, how many have USB ports?

    2. USB reqires a computer

    To use USB, there must be a computer (or at least an intelligent hub) in order to allow transmisions; you can't just go camera to camera. FireWire makes no such demand: you can easily connect two cameras directly, with no hub whatsoever.

    3. FireWire isn't at peak speed yet.

    FireWire currently travels at only 400 Mbps. However, the maximum rate is 1200 Mbps. I don't see USB matching that for awhile.

    4. FireWire can fork.

    With FireWire, I can use a splitting cable and channel my camcorder into two computers simultaneously, and broadcasting only one set of data. Try that with USB!

    5. FireWire guarantees speed.

    FireWire can say to a device, "You need a constant 200 Mbps data flow? Sure!" Whereas with USB, it's more like, "well, if your friends don't hog the bus too much, I'll see what I can do." No promised rates.

    With all of these merrits, I don't think USB 2.0 will be a problem for awhile.

  • by cirby ( 2599 ) on Sunday September 05, 1999 @07:48AM (#1702815)
    In a related story, Intel also gave out a press release that the Athlon chip, by competitor AMD, is also a dead issue.

    "I mean, how menay people do you know who own machines with Athlons in them?" said an unnamed Intel spokesman. "In another year or so, Intel will be selling chips at least that fast, and if we ever get Merced to work, it might be that fast, too."

  • Oh no! $0.25/device! We'll go bankrupt!

    How much more are they going to have to pay Intel for chipsets with USB-2.0 so Intel can recoup development costs? Let's be serious here. This story is Intel FUD. There are already millions of computers and consumer electronics devices out there with Firewire. There are none with USB-2.0, and USB-2.0 is totally worthless to the consumer electronics industry. There are nearly 30 Firewire devices shipping today, and many, many more have been announced. We're seeing with Firewire a rampup of of almost exactly the same proportions we saw with original USB last year.

    Sure, USB-2.0 ports might end up on computers. Right next to the Firewire ports.


Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"