1394 (firewire) Support?

Will there be any Firewire expansion cards available?

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Welcome to the forum.

Firewire isn’t long dead?
I’m not sure that there’s enough of a market to justify it.
Framework is currently a small company, so they can’t really create everything people might want. You could create a one if you wish, though. Design files for expansion cards are on Framework’s github.


Man now I am curious what nice application these days still uses firewire but also modern laptops.

I bet it’s at least kinda interresting.

FireWire? 2005 called, they want their hardware back :sweat_smile:.

I don’t know if there are any USB to FireWire bridges, so that could be difficult/extremely expensive.

Best thing I could think about is probably Thunderbolt to PCIe and then PCIe to FireWire (with an eGPU case for example).


There definitely are thunderbolt (1, the one that uses minidp not usb-c) to firewire bridges though so it’s not entirely impossible but it’s like at least 100$ worth of adapters that mostly only apple makes XD

Yes FW was declared “dead” about a decade ago, when USB was supposed to cover everything audio…which it didn’t. I and all the rest of the FW crowd sold all our FW gear and tried to make do with USB for location recordings.

Did USB work? Well, kind of. Sometimes.

I’ve been buying back high end FW audio devices for my remote recording and they WORK. I won’t trust a USB system ever again for a remote job.

Yes there are laptops out there with FW & i have 2 Desktops set up to grab on the way out the door, but a dedicated Framework laptop would be perfect.

My 2 cents.

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1394 (Firewire) is still here. Sony never really abandoned it - Thunderbolt is essentially it’s Cousin. What really killed it in production PC’s is Sony wanted something like 25 cents per PC to install it on motherboards.
to each his own…

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id rather see a console port seeing how cisco and every network device vendor include the dumb 9 pin console cable still. i always need a console cable at work and those things are lying around everywhere

Ah just high end audio, was hoping it would be something cooler but weird requirements pretty often end up being “just” high end audio.

Out of curiosity, what kind of problems did usb have with that? Not familiar enough with audio to really know what a remote audio job is but I doubt it is what I think it is.

Depending on how many firewire ports you need, if it’s just one getting a firewire to tb1 adaber and a tb1/2 to tb3 one would turn your firewire equipment into thunderbolt equipment that would work with every thunderbolt capable laptop.

As for expansion card, fitting all that into one may get a bit too cramped.

The security issues of an external connector capable of unauthenticated DMA may also have been an issue that didn’t help (though that could have been mitigated if they really wanted to)

No-one did that jet, that is orders of magnitude more doable than a firewire expansion card?

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Mandatory reference to the survivorship bias meme
Capture d’écran du 2023-05-25 09-04-21

FW audio worked if :

  • you had the right chipset (was it from TI ? i can’t remember)
  • you didn’t need to hotplug or you were ok to reboot to plug (i’ve seen quite a few fried FW chips)

Firewire is nowhere to be seen, actually. Is it still used by some people that struggle to use and repair it because the hardware and the software are becoming rare ?
Yes. Is it still used on new products ? No.

FW was not only Sony’s efforts : it was mostly Apple, joined by IBM and later Intel’s.
Apple suddenly wanted $1 of licensing fee per FireWire port. There was a meeting about it that went badly, and Intel decided to stop supporting FW. Then Apple lowered the fee to 25 cents per system one month later but it was too late, Intel was going full USB 2.0.

FWIW, i still own an Edirol FA-101, FW audio interface. It was a nightmare to use, because i didn’t have the right chipset. I had to buy a ExpressCard FW adapter whose chipset was slightly less bad. Edirol released the UA-101 : same interface with USB instead of FW.
I also have a M-Audio Profire LightBridge, which was at the time the only interface that had 4 pairs of ADAT.
They are both in their box, while i can use almost any USB audio interface in the wild without any major issue, with acceptable round-trip latencies.


Yes an interface with a TI chip is necessary. And ADAT is also still a great tool despite
its detractors. I rarely use more that 16 channels for live recording, most of them perc & vocals.

Home recording boxes like the FA-101 were an introduction to audio for millions
and people still complain about them (g). The Pro Tools Digidesign rigs of the time were also buggy, and not just in their FW implementation. Hotplugging? Really? no thanks - if I want to change cars, I’ll park the one I’m using first.

But this isn’t an audio forum - it’s abt these awesome Framework products!

Now , there are CardBus & other solutions still to be found for for Fw, Also MB’s with the 1394 protocol if you seek them out. I guess the market is small for FW hardware, but I’ll bet it’s larger than most people think.

Thanx for the heads-up abt the Apple/Sony licensing fee - good info.

I would love to be able to use firewire hardware with my framework! But I have also come to the conclusion that it is basically impossible. There are technically combinations of adapters that you can use to make the connection, but due to the unsecured DMA required, they don’t really work. Same as TB 1 devices.

It’s a shame, as there was a ton of audio hardware produced using the standard and much of it was better than the USB hardware at the time.

Maybe it’s not exciting enough for some, but there are probably millions of good mic preamps and mixers that are or are becoming e-waste because they’re trapped in products that are becoming increasingly hard to connect to working computers (and were often finnicky already)


the firewire video capture box I have (canopus/grass valley adc110) is vastly better than my usb2 one (pinnacle moviebox 2) or the pci one (matrox rt.x100). I also have a firewire prosumer camcorder.

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I think we can all agree that your fw capture box just happens to be the best out of the three because of its technical qualities, not because it is fw.

The specs of my old fw sound card’s preamps were abysmal compared to some USB interfaces :slight_smile:

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I don’t have a Framework laptop yet (I am too poor and waiting for the $600 refurb unit to return) but shouldn’t Apple’s adapters work in this scenario?

FireWire device --Apple FW to TB2 adapter–> --Apple TB2 to TB3 adapter–> laptop TB4 port

Yes, it’s a crazy chain, but the same chip in the FW to TB2 adapter should be usable in a custom module if you really want it.