Tag Archives: Thunderbolt

Sonnet offers speed via USB 3.0 PCIe adapter card, powered ports

Sonnet is offering the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card, a four-port, four-controller SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 adapter card with charging capabilities. The Allegro card allows users a simple path to adding four USB 3.0 ports, each providing 5Gbps bandwidth to Mac Pro and Windows computers with PCIe slots, and to Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express card expansion chassis.

This pro adapter card supports bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices through each of its ports and supports simultaneous sync and charge of iPad mobile digital devices and other devices that support USB 3.0 charging.

A typical USB 3.0 adapter card uses a single USB 3.0 controller chip, splitting its bandwidth among two to four ports. For users wishing to copy files between drives connected to the card, bandwidth sharing has a measurable impact on data-transfer speed potential. The Allegro card comes with four independent USB 3.0 controllers, with each port receiving its own dedicated bandwidth. This allows the Sonnet pro card to support data transfers up to 450MB/s per port and up to 1800MB/s aggregate for the card, enabling high-speed data transfers between connected drives.

LaCie Thunderbolt offerings now compatible with Windows 7/8

Four of LaCie’s Thunderbolt 2 products — the 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2, 5big Thunderbolt 2, 2big Thunderbolt 2 and d2 Thunderbolt 2 — are now compatible with Windows 7 and 8. The Thunderbolt drivers can be downloaded immediately from the LaCie website.

LaCie says they made it a priority to ensure their Thunderbolt 2 solutions work with any Thunderbolt-enabled computer. “This way, PC and Mac users alike can benefit from Thunderbolt’s extraordinary speed for high-bandwidth applications, such as video editing and backup. Plus, cross-platform compatibility means that storage can easily be shared between PC and Mac at optimum speeds,” says Erwan Girard, Business Unit Manager, LaCie.

LaCie offers a range of certified Thunderbolt products for PC and Mac. In addition to the Thunderbolt 2 products mentioned above, they offer the Rugged Thunderbolt as well as first-generation desktop Thunderbolt products.

CES: G-Tech targets remote productions with portable storage solutions

G-Technology is at CES this week, showing a line of rugged and portable storage drives designed to keep data safe from water and dust and are resistant to drops.

Compatible with the company’s Evolution Series of external hard drives, the line includes the new G-Drive ev ATC (All Terrain Case) with Thunderbolt, the G-Drive ev ATC with USB 3.0 and the G-Drive ev RaW. G-Tech also introduced Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 all-terrain cases that can be purchased separately to turn the original G-Drive ev, G-Drive ev RaW or G-Drive ev SSD into rugged storage solutions as well.

The new drives are designed to withstand daily wear and tear and even more serious conditions as well, with features like a watertight drive compartment, which floats when dropped in water, and drop-resistance. The new rugged storage solutions come with a three-year limited warranty.


G-Drive ev RaW with Rugged Bumper
The G-Drive ev RaW is a small and lightweight portable hard drive (think backpack, briefcase or purse) able to withstand a 1.5-meter drop, while protecting up to 1TB of data. This external hard drive — 35 percent lighter than the original G-Drive ev — is USB 3.0 bus-powered. The G-Drive ev RaW comes with a USB 3.0 cable and can be used as a standalone device or with the Evolutions Series’ G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt (or the new ev all-terrain case) for ultra-fast transfers and editing. While the drive is formatted for Mac it can easily be reformatted for Windows. The G-Drive ev RaW will be available this month. G-Tech’s suggested retail pricing is 1TB for $129.95 and 500GB for $99.95.

G-Drive ev ATC with Thunderbolt, G-Drive ev ATC with USB 3.0
These drives feature the all-terrain ATC case with a tethered Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 cable that protects a high-quality, lightweight removable G-Drive ev RaW USB hard drive. Featuring a watertight drive compartment, the drive can withstand a two-meter drop, so data is protected from pressure, shock, water and dust.

The removable case is compatible with the Evolution Series, so it fits the G-Drive ev or G-Drive ev SSD. G-Tech suggests this solution for in-the-field backup, edit, transfer and storage. The drive’s enclosure features a 7,200 RPM-based external hard drive to maximize transfer speed using Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. This drive can also be reformatted for Windows and will be available this month. Pricing is $229.95 for 1TB. The G-Drive ev ATC with USB 3.0 will be available in February for $179.95 for 1TB.


The ev All Terrain Case with Thunderbolt ($129.95) and the ev ATC with USB 3.0 ($79.95) will be available in February.

Sonnet to show new, updated gear at IBC

IBC is quickly approaching, and word of new products being introduced at the show is trickling in, including from Sonnet Technologies.

In Amsterdam, Sonnet will unveil its RackMac Pro rackmount solution for the new Mac Pro computer. The unit (pictured, above) supports the rackmount installation of one or two new Mac Pros. The RackMac Pro provides a front panel power switch and USB 3.0 port for each computer, while panel-mounted cables connect each Mac Pro’s Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI and power ports to ports on the back of the RackMac Pro for external cable connection. The device’s heavy-duty steel outer enclosure provides secure mounting and protection for each Mac Pro, with an open-back design that allows for proper airflow and optimal cooling. Only 7 inches tall by 16 inches deep, the 4U RackMac Pro can be used in a wide range of mobile racks, carts and rack cases, as well as in a server room.


Thunderbolt Pro P2 card reader.

Making its IBC debut, the Thunderbolt Pro P2 card reader is a fast and affordable P2 single-slot memory card reader available. Based on 10Gb/s Thunderbolt technology, the device can ingest footage from individual P2 memory cards at up to 70 MB/s. The Thunderbolt Pro P2 is bus-powered and connects directly to any Mac computer with a Thunderbolt port, or at the end of a Thunderbolt device chain with an included Thunderbolt cable. The device supports all P2 memory cards and frame rates at maximum speed, and also reads micro P2 cards with an optional adapter.

At IBC 2014, Sonnet will feature the xMac Pro Server, its rackmount solution with built-in Thunderbolt 2-to-PCI Express (PCIe) expansion for the new Mac Pro. The xMac Pro Server mounts the computer horizontally inside a specially designed 4U modular enclosure, connects three PCIe 2.0 slots via Thunderbolt 2 technology and provides space to install additional equipment in two 5.25-inch mobile rack bays. By supporting every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card available, the xMac Pro Server allows audio-video professionals to use high-performance PCIe cards with the latest Mac Pro, which lacks its own PCIe expansion slots. Through the installation of optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits into the xMac Pro Server, users can connect storage expansion devices such as hard drives and SSDs to the Mac Pro.

Also on Sonnet’s stand will be the xMac mini Server which mounts a Mac mini inside a specially designed 1U rackmount enclosure and connects two PCIe 2.0 slots via a Thunderbolt port, allowing users to tap into the power of full-size pro video capture and processing, digital audio interface, DSP accelerator, FireWire and RAID controller cards. The latest generation xMac mini Server combines the best of previous models, adds a 75W auxiliary power connector for cards like the Avid HDX and is the quietest model yet.

Sonnet will also be showing the Echo Express family of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion chassis that facilitates mobile and on-location workflows by enabling any Mac computer equipped with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports to interface with a wide variety of high-performance PCIe cards, originally designed only for use in desktop computers.

Sonnet ships Echo Express line with 20Gb/s Thunderbolt 2 interfaces

Irvine, California — Sonnet Technologies’ Echo Express III-D (desktop), Echo Express III-R (rackmount), and Echo Express SE II (desktop) Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express (PCIe) card expansion chassis are one of the first devices of their kind to ship with 20Gb/sec Thunderbolt 2 interfaces.

These models, which began shipping this week, are the newest members of Sonnet’s Echo Express (www.sonnettech.com) family of expansion products that enable any Mac computer equipped with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports to interface with a wide variety of high-performance PCIe cards originally designed only for use in desktop computers.


The Echo Express III-D, Echo Express III-R, and Echo Express SE II incorporate ultra-fast Thunderbolt 2 technology, which delivers twice the throughput of 10Gb/sec Thunderbolt and provides sufficient bandwidth to support many of the highest performance and most demanding PCIe cards. The new expansion chassis support every kind of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card available — enabling the use of professional video capture, audio interface, 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SAS and SATA HBA, and RAID controller cards with Thunderbolt-enabled iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers. Plus, the Sonnet systems’ dual Thunderbolt 2 ports support full-bandwidth connectivity with Thunderbolt 2-equipped host computers, full backward compatibility with 10 Gb/sec Thunderbolt-equipped computers and devices, and daisy-chaining of other Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt devices.

Designed for users needing an optimum solution for connecting three PCIe cards to their computers, both the Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R provide one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots to support three full-length, full-height, single-width PCIe cards. Both chassis feature a built-in universal 300W power supply with a 75W auxiliary power connector to support PCIe cards with higher power requirements. In addition, the systems integrate two large ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled cooling fans to enable their use in noise-sensitive environments. The companion Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit enables users to install one or two mobile rack-form-factor devices inside the Echo Express III-R chassis. Peripherals such as LTO tape drives, 2.5-inch SSD or HDD drives, 3.5-inch drives, Blu-ray™ burners, and memory card readers can be installed into the kit and connected to the PCIe cards installed in the chassis, saving rack space for other equipment.

The Echo Express SE II was designed for users needing a simple way to connect two adapter cards to their computers, and it supports all but long Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards. Weighing 3.7 pounds and measuring only 6.5 inches wide by 11 inches long by 4.6 inches tall, the Echo Express SE II is compact and lightweight, and its rugged aluminum case provides excellent protection for the cards. The new chassis supports two half-length (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height PCIe 2.0 x8 cards and provides an additional space for a daughter card. Some specialty cards, such as RME’s HDSPe MADI FX card, Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink 4K Extreme, and the Lynx Studio Technology AES16e-50, include a daughter card that mates with and provides additional external connections to the main card. The Echo Express SE II provides the slot space and mounting support for an adjacent daughter card without sacrificing an entire PCIe slot.


Until now, the Echo Express III-D, III-R, and SE II have been equipped with 10 Gb/sec Thunderbolt technology. Customers who have purchased these Echo Express systems received an in-box coupon for a free upgrade to Thunderbolt 2. These customers will be able to claim their Thunderbolt 2 upgrade from Feb. 3 to March 31, and more information can be found at www.sonnettech.com/thunderbolt2upgrade.

The Echo Express III-D (part number ECHO-EXP3F-D) has a suggested retail price of $979. The Echo Express III-R (part number ECHO-EXP3F-R) has a suggested retail price of $1,199. The Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit (part number ECHO-EXP3FR-MRM) has a suggested retail price of $199. The Echo Express SE II (part number ECHO-EXP-SE2) has a suggested retail price of $499.