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Author Topic: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak  (Read 4559 times)

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« on: February 23, 2011, 06:19:42 pm »

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Tim Boyce

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 08:22:47 pm »

This was on the MH listserv today: here's what BJ had to say back in Dec of 2010 ..


LightPeak is both a raw transport and a protocol. The protocol is not published yet so it is hard to say what its implementation on any given computer will do, but the basic idea is that it serializes multiple streams of DisplayPort and PCIe over the optical tranport -- it works like a transparent bridge. So what  would likely happen for LightPeak is that the "breakout box" would implement things like USB and FireWire as PCIe devices. Any latency would be in the nanosecond-microsecond range, and would not be apparent to a device connected to the "legacy" busses like USB or FireWire.


So firewire as a protocol wouldn't go anywhere (direct memory access, async/iso transfer, bandwidth reserves, etc ..) but the termination plug would change. It would still be a valid FW stream .. simply over an optical cable instead.

At least that is one possibility ... we'll have to wait and see what happens when it's actually released and shows up in real world tests...  

pmx

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 08:34:08 pm »

the pic leaked today on engadget shows a 'thunderbolt' port next to a fw800 port. the interpretation is that lightpeak will serve as an interface like dvi. you can convert dvi to hdmi, vga, displaylink and so might light peak behave that way too: a set of converters to usb/esata/fw being available.

we'll know in a few days Smile
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SafeandSound

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 07:10:04 am »

I have personally found Firwire (possibly as a PC user) to be a
annoying and unreliable connection, both physically and electrically/data wise.
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 08:09:52 am »

SafeandSound wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 07:10

I have personally found Firwire (possibly as a PC user) to be a
annoying and unreliable connection, both physically and electrically/data wise.


And we could not run our Mac video editing stations without it. No problems in over 5 years. Must be a PC "thing".
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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 08:21:17 am »

Al
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Allen Corneau

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 08:22:12 am »

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 07:09

SafeandSound wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 07:10

I have personally found Firwire (possibly as a PC user) to be a
annoying and unreliable connection, both physically and electrically/data wise.


And we could not run our Mac video editing stations without it. No problems in over 5 years. Must be a PC "thing".




We hook up FW drives to the Sadie all the time. Other than the typical non-PC format issue, no problems here.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 11:39:32 am »

FireWire has been so incredibly stable for us for 10 years, both the 400 and 800 rates.

No big hurry to change.

I've had a Sata PCI card sitting in my shop for over a year, waiting to be installed in one of our Mac DAWs, can't find the motivation as the FW800 is so speedy and reliable.

I do remember reading about LightPeak around a year ago, sounds interesting for moving around huge amounts of data.

We only use USB for peripherals such as iLoks, mouses and keyboards.

Cheers, JT
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Tim Boyce

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 12:36:26 pm »

News ..


http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/24/first_look_ins ide_apples_fast_new_thunderbolt_port_on_macbook_pros.html



... still the same problem as Firewire .. NO locking connector!


 (they could at least put a magnet on it like the power supply).

Dale Francis

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 11:53:13 am »

it is copper and not fibre optic so it is not lightpeak
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Tomas Danko

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2011, 07:50:18 am »

Dale Francis wrote on Fri, 25 February 2011 16:53

it is copper and not fibre optic so it is not lightpeak

Exactly.

Light Peak was the code name for the project during development. It's Thunderbolt now, and first out is copper and not optical.
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Tim Boyce

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 02:26:37 pm »

again from the MH listserv:

http://www.tidbits.com/article/11993

"Thunderbolt’s Blasts -- Thunderbolt is a fascinating mix of
old and new:

Despite what the tech spec pages say, Apple’s version of
Thunderbolt has up to 20 Gbps available in each direction (full
duplex), not 10 Gbps. While the Thunderbolt specification talks
about 10 Gbps to and from a host, Apple’s version incorporates
two channels over the same cable: one is apparently dedicated to
DisplayPort for video, and the other for PCI Express data. This
allows raw throughput up to 20 Gbps and reportedly a substantial
fraction of that in true throughput in each direction.

This amount of bandwidth would let you run two high-resolution
displays (which require bandwidth in the gigabits-per-second
range) and a super-fast RAID drive (demonstrated by Promise
Technology) or multiple drives that can work at full speed. On
the new MacBook Pros, Thunderbolt manages both the internal
screen and an optional external display, which is why you
can’t drive two external displays. On a future Mac Pro or Mac
mini that won’t be an issue, nor will it be a limitation on a
future iMac, as long as it provides multiple Thunderbolt ports.

Because Thunderbolt provides two channels on the same cable, a
display or hard drive can be in the middle of the daisy chain
without interrupting the flow of the other channel.

Target Disk Mode is supported under Thunderbolt. Until now, this
mode only worked over FireWire connections. When a Mac is booted
in Target Disk Mode, it acts as a hard drive for another
connected Mac.

You won’t be able to boot a Mac (yet) from a
Thunderbolt-connected drive, unlike with USB and FireWire. Andy
Ihnakto has this factoid, and I tend to trust him. I will be
surprised if this isn’t added later. We need a way to boot
from external drives, and if Thunderbolt eventually takes over
from FireWire, then it has to boot Macs, too.

While Thunderbolt is backward-compatible with DisplayPort, and
the connector uses the same 20 pins as DisplayPort, you can’t
use a DisplayPort cable to run a Thunderbolt connection. You can
use a DisplayPort cable, with an existing Mini
DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort adapter, to connect a DisplayPort
monitor to a Thunderbolt port, and you can also use a
Thunderbolt cable with any of the existing DisplayPort adapters.
The Thunderbolt controller automatically adjusts the signal
output to be correct for DisplayPort-native ports on the other end.

The Thunderbolt port carries 10 watts of power, a significant
amount for powering drives and other peripherals (though nowhere
near enough to drive a large external display). Apple’s
hardware with a single FireWire 400 or 800 port (or one of each)
can deliver 7 watts to the bus. USB 2.0 can push out a maximum
of 2.5 watts, while USB 3.0 can hit 4.5 watts. Apple’s
high-power USB 2.0 can generate 5.5 watts, which is enough to
charge an iPad while it’s plugged in and in use. Thunderbolt
devices can also boost power downstream: an AC-powered display
could push 10 watts out the port on the “far” side from the
computer in the daisy chain. (Apple’s external iPad USB-to-AC
charger is rated at 10 watts, but it’s just a USB plug
connected to power, not a data connection.)

Thunderbolt will allow splitters and other baroque
configurations of adapters, Apple told me. For instance, you
could have a DisplayPort adapter with two Thunderbolt ports for
daisy chaining. Apple has no plans to discuss here, but
there’s clearly room for a robust market of cables, hubs,
adapters, and other elements to make it easier to use legacy
video standards.

It should be possible to build Thunderbolt-to-eSATA and
Thunderbolt-to-FireWire adapters that enable connectivity with
older gear that you already own."


Table Of Tone

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 10:29:00 am »

Allen Corneau wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 13:22

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 07:09

SafeandSound wrote on Thu, 24 February 2011 07:10

I have personally found Firwire (possibly as a PC user) to be a
annoying and unreliable connection, both physically and electrically/data wise.


And we could not run our Mac video editing stations without it. No problems in over 5 years. Must be a PC "thing".




We hook up FW drives to the Sadie all the time. Other than the typical non-PC format issue, no problems here.


Absolutely right!
FW400 and FW800 are great on Macs but definitely not great on the PC, especially Win7!
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: End of Firewire? Apple + Intel > LightPeak
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 11:35:22 am »

Coupla recent Mixline blurbs:

 http://blog.mixonline.com/mixblog/2011/02/24/meet-thunderbol t/

 http://blog.mixonline.com/mixblog/2011/02/28/apogee-announce s-product-development-for-thunderbolt/

Looks promising and not platform biased, although Apple is already on it.

http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/features.html#thunderbolt

JT
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