Thunderbolt to FireWire

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sk8r1230, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. sk8r1230 macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2010
    Anyone know the reason for the delay on this product. Keynote made it sound like it was going to be available then if not shortly after.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It will be available in July.
  3. sk8r1230 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2010
    I know but I was wondering why it needed to be delayed. Ethernet came out without issue. Software updated needed possibly? Just was curious
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Maybe it has to do with hardware constraints? Firewire normally needs an extra chip on the logic board, now they have to pack that into the adapter somehow.
    Maybe it was just an afterthought, added to the presentation a day or two earlier.
  5. srgz, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    srgz macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    It doesn't have anything to do with additional chips, etc.
    Check out a teardown of the GigE adapter:

    Pretty cool how small that is and how they fit all that stuff in there, but AFAIK it's a Broadcom PCIe GigE controller and a Port Ridge thunderbolt chip (the one for really small, non daisy chainable devices).

    Replace the broadcomm PCIe GigE with an LSI or TexasInstruments FW800 chip, and there ya go.

    I think it has to do with the entire fuster cluck that is thunderbolt.

    Intel just shipped the cactus ridge chips to their OEMs in mid April of this year.
    The cactus ridge chip is the 2nd gen thunderbolt silicon which allows people to make really small devices (this was *not* possible with light ridge, the previous model chip, due to the sheer amount of additional circuitry needed) -- as to why the GigE one came out first and the FW one is coming out a month later?

    Probably due to supply constraints from Intel, and Apple thought it was more important to get the GigE one out first since the amount of people that use GigE is much greater than the amount of people that still use firewire, and the retina MBP doesn't have a GigE port so they probably wanted to make sure that if people were upgrading into an environment where they needed GigE -- they could get it; where as FW has been the "odd man out" for the past few years anyway, they figured people could wait a month or so for the dongle to come out.

    TBH I'm just happy someone is making TB devices that:

    1.) Have the cable included so you don't have to pay an extra $50
    2.) Cost less than $50 for the entire device and
    3.) Are bus-powered

    It only took them 18 months to finally bring end user level TB products to market -- way to go Intel, one of your best product launches ever!

    I don't blame Apple for this at all; they're not the one who took over a year to come out with a decent chip.

    I would love to see the look on Sonnet's face after watching WWDC, who since Sept 2011 has been charging ~$350 USD for a thunderbolt to FW solution (you have to buy their "echo express" ExpressCard to TB box ( - $170, plus the FW ExpressCard Adapter Card ( - $100, plus the $50 cable, Then add in tax).

    Of course Sonnet was forced to go to market last year with the first gen tbolt honestly it probably sucks for them just as much as it does for the people buying their stuff.

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