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Re: CD-RW Burner for Mac Laptop

sort of off-topic, but you'll probably hear people wondering about USB2.0
audio sooner or later, so it's kind of related....

At 11:10 AM 10/21/99 -0700, Stephen Goodman wrote:
>Watch for USB 2.0 as it's supposed to supply a bigger throughput than the
>present spec.  Kim probably knows this one on a more tech level.  

I've had to think about USB 2.0 a lot lately....

At this point USB 2.0 consists of Intel's Power Point slides and the
version1.0 spec, which was finally released to those who have signed the
various license agreements just last week. (too bad you can't sell ppt
slides  ;-)

This means:
- no silicon exists now. Indeed, chipset designs with USB2 are only just
starting, they won't be here for a while.
- motherboards with these chipsets will take a while after that, especially
since there will be no peripherals or drivers, so it's the usual 
- USB2 peripherals won't show up until there is installed base of users,
sometime after the mobos appear.
- Microsoft says (not very enthusiastically) that they will write drivers
after they have received working hardware to test them on. These will 
in whatever windows release comes after that. (The version with all the 
fixed will be in the next windows release after that. ;-) The mainstream
products won't appear until this happens. (probably apple is similar.) 
- After all this happens, it won't work for a while. Bugs, plus sending
480MHz over a crap USB cable is really hard, and Intel's track record in
this area ain't so hot lately. (see Rambus)
- and of course, the market will be totally confused about what the
difference between USB1 and USB2 is (and whether to use 1394 or USB2), so
adoption and price drops will be slow. 

In summary, USB 2.0: don't hold your breath. A good rule of thumb for this
hyped up PC industry stuff is, whatever the most conservative estimate for
it's appearance in the market, multiply by 2-3. (c.f., USB 1.0 ;-)

If USB is on your powerbook, and USB CDRW is available now, that's probably
the thing to do. Or, if 1394/firewire is on the powerbook, I see that 1394
CDRW (16x) is available about $100 more than the 8x USB drives, that might
be better since it's much faster. (and it actually exists now...) I notice 
lot of 1394 peripherals have been appearing lately, at good prices.

Kim Flint                                408-845-6383
Manager, System Engineering              kflint@ati.com
ATI Research, Inc.                       http://www.ati.com