About FireWire® (IEEE 1394, iLINK)
IEEE 1394 (aka. FireWire and iLINK) is a high-bandwidth isochronous (real-time) interface for computers, peripherals, and consumer electronics products such as camcorders, VCRs, printers, PCs, TVs, and digital cameras. With IEEE 1394-compatible products and systems, users can transfer video or still images from a camera or camcorder to a printer, PC, or television, with no image degradation.
Additionally, IEEE 1394 will allow connections for various devices that require high-bandwidth transfer including mass storage devices. IEEE 1394 allows connections of up to 63 devices is "hot pluggable" and easy to use. FireWire® is considered a complimentary technology to Universal Serial Bus, so expect to see IEEE 1394 wherever bandwidth requirements exceed those USB's capabilities. Synchrotech intends to provide its customers with the best these exciting new technologies offer.
FireWire IEEE 1394 FAQ and Information
This page contains general information regarding FireWire IEEE 1394.
- How to connect a device with a 6-pin connector to a computer an iLink or 4-pin connector?
- How many IEEE 1394 devices can be on the bus?
- Are there any performance hints for connecting multiple devices?
- Why do certain computers achieve less than ideal interface speeds?
Sony and several other vendors use a 4-pin or iLink connector. Aside from being a smaller connector these ports do not provide power over the bus (pins 1 Power 2 Ground). This is not a problem UltiFire drives, as they require and come with an AC adapter. The exception is the Mini series, which provide the option of using bus power when available. All that is needed to connect a 6-pin device to a 4-pin host is a FireWire IEEE 1394 4pin To 6pin Cable 10'.
This is a FAQ that we have seen answered wrong on numerous sites. The maximum number of devices that can be on one channel (sometimes called a subnet) is 63. This figure includes the host computer, so if you are connecting devices to a IEEE 1394 equipped PC or FireWire equipped Macintosh, then you can connect 62 devices to it. This figure is not per port, unless each port has its own channel, which we currently do not have any data on such configurations. An illustration of this is an iMac with two FireWire ports, which can accommodate a total of 62 FireWire devices attached to it. Furthermore, the maximum number or devices that can be daisy chained (connected in a serial fashion) is 17 including a host computer. In other words, the maximum number of devices that can be daisy chained to a computer is 16. When more than 16 devices need connections, then the devices need to be connected in an hierarchical (sometimes called a tree) fashion. The easiest way to create a hierarchy is to use repeater hubs, but keep in mind that they count as devices on the chain/tree.
Yes, there are several things that can help improve performance when connecting multiple devices. Always place the slowest devices (ie. scanners, printers) on the end or the chain or tree nodes. Conversely, place fast devices as close as possible on the bus to the host computer. When using devices that utilize Isosynchronous mode (ie. DV Camcorders), it is best to dedicate a single port to that device when possible.
Synchrotech is aware of certain FireWire IEEE 1394 host controllers that provide less than optimal performance. This was not noticed until hard drives based on the second generation of IEEE 1394 to EIDE controllers appeared. When IEEE 1394 is installed via a PCI or PC CardBus host adapter, this can be fixed by replacing the host adapter. Unfortunately, some computers have their controllers built on the motherboard. This includes several of Apple Computer's portable models including the PowerBook G3 (FireWire), iBook (all before 2001 model), and the PowerBook G4 Titanium. These models and any other systems with an under performing host controller will not provide the full bandwidth of high performance devices like Synchrotech's UltiFire line.
- 98 Format Instructions
- Windows 98/98SE formating instructions for this device
- For all Synchrotech UltiFire Hard Drives * Date 2002.01.29 * 72K