Fibre Channel for next gen powermacs

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014

After reading this board for a while, and never having anything interesting to contribute.. I've decided to break my silence with something I overheard.

While attending NAMM, the music industry trade show, I was at the Glyph technologies stand ( and overheard the main person there mention about Apple and their "plans to announce the new interface as standard" on their tower desktops, this was in reference to an external disk array that uses fibre channel which he was holding.

He went on to add.. that he wasn't sure when they would be released. "I'm not sure when they will release them, they have a habit of not letting people know of the exact dates".

Thank you for taking the time to read that.. and hopefully we will see Fiber Channel replace IDE drives inside pro machines.. It makes sense to edit FCP video on drives that can handle the throughput..

See ya



  • Reply 1 of 12
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    There is SCSI drive, IDE drive, next time they will be seria ATA drive , and firewire drive (but with internal ide controller). I don't see the interest of fiber channel drive.

    Was'nt he speaking of Serial ATA drive, because serial ATA will starting to be release in late 2002 and will be the future tecnology of the ten years for HD.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    the benefits of serial ATA are exactly? The only difference I know about the difference between SCSI and ATA is that SCSI supports higher bandwidth (ATA can catch up with time though, who cares?) and that SCSI takes processor tasks and does it itself to further free up the processor and allow the drive to be even faster. If serial ATA added this ability that'd be great but I would think if that was the only advantage (which it really would just be up to par and not really an advantage) SCSI would be the cheaper since it has been out longer. Anyone know what would be the advantages of a Firewire hard drive bus system with no IDE front end cuz there would be no point to firewire if it would just end up as IDE/ATA in the end... it would just incur additional cost. Anyone?
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Firewire can carry power, whereas ATA needs the ribbon cable and a MOLEX connector from the power supply.

    Firewire is hot-swappable, ATA is not.

    Never used SCSI before.

    Gigawire will be the future (hopefully)

  • Reply 4 of 12
    Isn't fibre channel really expensive? I've only heard it used with high end servers in clusters, or mirroring servers (and only in a unix environment...oh, wait...). Could gigawire be a revamped version of fibre-channel? That might make sense. If apple has developed a way to lower the cost, then wahoo! for them!

  • Reply 5 of 12
    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    drives are going to show up in the 2nd half of the year and pci cards should be showing up in a couple months.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    arty50arty50 Posts: 201member
    [quote]Originally posted by preston:


    Firewire is hot-swappable, ATA is not.


    Serial ATA is not the same as Current/Parallel ATA. Last I read, Serial ATA will be hot swappable.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    What I would like Apple to do is make servers as opposed to just offering up souped-up Pro Macs.

    Yes, Fibre Channel is expensive, but what it offers is terabytes of shared data (within the same room, building, or even kilometers away). If somewhere in Steve's graphite heart lies the desire to have Macs running at Pixar, then Apple needs actual servers.

  • Reply 8 of 12
    I guess another good reason to implement fibre channel would be because of its raw speed and scalability.

    It goes gigabit transfers over multiple mediums (sound familiar?) including TCP/IP.

    This is all quite interesting junk.. and having heard him say that makes it all that more viable to me.

    we'll just have to wait and see

  • Reply 9 of 12
    tjmtjm Posts: 367member
    I've been suspicious for about a month now that "Gigawire" is actually Apple's version of Fibre Channel. I stumbled across an job posting looking for a network engineer with experience in Ethernet and Fibre Channel. I had never heard of FC, so I started doing some investigating. Just about everything I read about it meshed with what I had heard about Gigawire. Yes, it's expensive (for the optical fibre 4 Gb/s controllers, particularly), but price out a Gigabit Ethernet card - they're not particularly cheap either, and Apple offers that as standard equipment currently. So, I remain persuaded that Gigawire very likely is Fibre Channel.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Fibre Channel has common implementations over TCP/IP and SCSI. It wouldn't be unlikely to add another implementation outside of these but that is a big jump into a server style product or high end pro- would make Apple cutting edge again...
  • Reply 11 of 12
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    The problem is not the mobo implemenation of fiber channel , the problem is too have fiber channel HD, you know the cost of SCSI disk that both exist in the PC and Mac Market you can imagine the prise of fiber channel HD.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Yes. I can imagine the price. the things are costly. but they're not THAT expensive.

    For instance. an 18GB 10,000RPM Ultra160 SCSI drive goes for around $150. and an 18GB 10,000RPM Fibre Channel drive goes for around $180.

    As well. a 9GB 10,000RPM Ultra160 SCSI drive goes for around $120. while an 9GB 10,000RPM Fibre Channel drive goes for around $140.

    You can see the numbers I extrapolated these from here: So while Fibre Channel drives do cost about 15-20% more than Ultra160 SCSI drives. I think that's a price that many "Pro" users would happily pay. especially for one single interface card/chipset which encompasses the functions of SCSI, ATA, Ethernet, ATM, TokenRing and possibly even FireWire.

    I myself always thought that Apple should have chosen Fibre Channel over SCSI for the original Mac Plus. as both solutions costed near exactly the same. since before Apple reached down from the heavens and plucked up SCSI. they were both in the same top of the market dreamland occupied by high end Alpha EV6 and POWER5 computers nowadays(That reminds me. Apple also should have chosen DEC's Alpha to mix with Motorola's upcoming RISC-based 8000 series for the new RISC based Mac's at the time instead of IBM's POWER. as the Alpha and the POWER were in the same fix SCSI and Fibre Channel were before. especially since Apple was already workng with DEC through Acorn on the StrongARM at the time. though I suppose that sleazebag Scully wanted to coax IBM into buying Apple too much to think about cost and performance of Apple's future products?).

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