Sonnet Technologies today announced the Echo™ ExpressCard®/34 Thunderbolt™ Adapter, which enables the use of many Sonnet ExpressCard/34 adapters with computers equipped with a Thunderbolt port, including the latest Apple® iMac®, Mac® mini, MacBook Air®, and MacBook® Pro models. ExpressCard/34 adapters, originally intended for notebook computers, offer users additional connectivity and functionality beyond what’s available through their computers’ stock configuration.
The new Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter supports most PCI Express®-based Sonnet professional ExpressCard/34 adapters and specialty adapters from other manufacturers. Sonnet expects other manufacturers’ ExpressCard/34 products to become compatible as their drivers are updated to be Thunderbolt technology-aware.
Developed by Intel® and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt technology supports high-performance data services and high-resolution displays through a single compact port. The Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter supports PCI Express 2.0 technology with 5 Gbps throughput in both directions. The Sonnet adapter connects directly to a computer or at the end of a Thunderbolt device chain with a Thunderbolt cable (available at the Apple Store®).
“The Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter gives users tremendous flexibility to connect a wide range of peripheral devices through the Thunderbolt port on their computers. With a single Thunderbolt adapter, they can instantly add connectivity to their computers, whether increasing the number of ports, incorporating new interfaces, or simply using devices that otherwise could not connect through a Thunderbolt port,” said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. “Support for hot-plugging and -swapping of ExpressCard/34 cards gives customers the freedom to change interfaces and devices when needed.”
“Sonnet’s Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter delivers great performance and flexibility,” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt marketing. “End users will now be able to extend the capabilities of their computers like never before.”
The Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter supports Sonnet ExpressCard adapters ranging from CompactFlash™ and SDXC™ UHS-I card readers to FireWire® 800, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and select eSATA adapters. It also supports ExpressCard adapters supplied with specialty devices such as Sonnet’s new line of Qio™ professional media readers, as well as the AJA® Io Express.
The Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter (part number ECHO-E34) is compatible with all Apple computers running Mac OS® X and equipped with Thunderbolt ports. It is expected to be available at the end of October at a suggested retail price of $149.95.