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davygrvy 12th May 2012 01:33 AM

iec 61883-6 (FireWire Audio) max sample rates and bit depth?
With USB Audio Class 2.0 defining a top of 32-bit @ 384kHz, I was wondering what the limits are for FireWire's audio device spec.

I have a 2-channel headphone amp I want to digitize and I haven't decided USB or FireWire. I just started investigating things. I don't mind writing C and debugging over JTAG if it gets me somewhere good. I like that FW is peer2peer.

Was thinking the Fujitsu MB88395 1394b controller, but I can't find much detailed info on it yet. It would be kinda fun if I plugged my headphone amp into a video camera and suddenly I'm able to hear the mic on it... FW beats UAC2 in that regard.

Looking for more docs on FireWire Audio device development. All pointers welcome

davygrvy 13th May 2012 06:37 PM

It's been rather difficult to find any info on FireWire. After some source diving into Linux, I found the source file for the Audio and Music Data Transmission Protocol (IEC 61883-6) and looks to allow for 24b@192k

I also found a data sheet on the Oxford Semiconductor evaluation boards for their OXFW970 and OXFW971 Audio peripheral controllers dating back to around 2004. But Oxford seems to have been acquired by PLX and their FireWire stuff is now gone.

davygrvy 14th May 2012 06:40 AM
Well, I think I found salvation with a Dice Mini (TCD2210) on their EVM 004 board.

davygrvy 15th May 2012 05:35 PM

Well... My research is done. Looks like FireWire is dead. The new AVB standard is getting all the attention these days. The nice sales person at TC Applied Technologies hipped me to this fact as their DICE products for implementing IEC 61883-6 are going away at the end of this year.

Too bad, nice stuff. FYI: their EVM004 board sells for $750

planet10 15th May 2012 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by davygrvy (
Looks like FireWire is dead.

Intel is pushing for Thunderbolt (which is a superset of Firewire, USB, SATA, displayPort and more).

My Firewire DAC does 24/192 well and was relatively cheap.


davygrvy 15th May 2012 07:24 PM


davygrvy 15th May 2012 07:28 PM


Originally Posted by planet10 (
My Firewire DAC does 24/192 well and was relatively cheap.

Yeah, IEC 61883-6 is a great standard and there's plenty of products, but it won't receive anymore revisions according to insiders. Apple is also about to drop it. AVB is looking to be more future-proof.

Thanks for the pointer on Thunderbolt, I'll check it out.

planet10 15th May 2012 07:42 PM


Originally Posted by davygrvy (
Apple is also about to drop it.

Thunderbolt ports on all new Macs. I am surprised they haven't released break-out boxes yet (TB > FW/USB/SATA etc)


davygrvy 15th May 2012 10:36 PM

For AVB, not too crazy expensive to make a one-off end-point using a dev board

davygrvy 16th May 2012 12:58 AM

Whoa.. check this out... You need to have a compatible Ethernet port in your computer to implement AVB (as per 802.1AS for the nanosecond timer). This is getting to be a pain.

Although there is a Broadcom Ethernet controller with AVB support available and one from Marvell and others very soon to follow, and there are AVB compliant switches, and the newest macbooks have this Broadcom chip...

...there currently is no such available PCI(e) network interface card with AVB. I just emailed an expert on this and have it confirmed.

There will probably be a dozen available in a couple months.

I expect there are numerous manufacturers of proaudio gear ready to pull the switch on products as well.

So for me, if Avid will choose to jump from Firewire to AVB (just watch) for their next product line, I know I'll be following.

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