Sonnet Technologies is now shipping Echo™ ExpressCard® Thunderbolt™ Adapter, which enables the use of many Sonnet ExpressCard/34 cards with computers equipped with a Thunderbolt port—including the latest Apple® iMac®, Mac® mini, MacBook Air®, and MacBook® Pro models—can now function as an SxS™ memory card reader. Sonnet supported Sony® in its work to create a Thunderbolt technology-compatible Mac OS® X driver to enable this functionality. This updated driver also enables full functionality of Sonnet’s Qio™ E3 professional SxS media reader, when connected through the Echo adapter to a computer with a Thunderbolt port.
High-performance SxS memory cards are used in Sony’s popular XDCAM® EX™ line of professional HD camcorders and the ARRI® ALEXA line of digital cameras, and share the same form factor and connector as ExpressCard/34 adapter cards. These shared traits make ingesting footage from SxS media a quick, simple task in ExpressCard slot-equipped notebook computers. In any other situation, this process requires the use of a specialized media reader, such as Sonnet’s Qio™ pro media readers with multiple SxS slots for speedy file offloads. With the added capability to read SxS, SxS Pro™, and SxS-1™ cards, the Echo ExpressCard Thunderbolt Adapter instantly becomes the least expensive high-speed SxS memory card reader available, enabling Thunderbolt technology-equipped Mac computers to read SxS cards at over 100 MB/s.
When used with the Echo ExpressCard Thunderbolt Adapter, users can connect Sonnet’s Qio E3 professional SxS media reader, with its ExpressCard/34 interface card, to compatible computers with a Thunderbolt port. This setup supports concurrent data transfers from SxS memory cards in all three slots for even faster file ingest speeds.
“With the installation of Sony’s Thunderbolt technology-compatible driver for Mac OS X, Echo ExpressCard Thunderbolt Adapter users gain the ability to ingest footage through a small, rugged adapter using the latest I/O technology to improve workflow speeds significantly,” said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. “This new driver benefits users of our Qio E3 professional media reader, enabling them to connect their readers to Thunderbolt technology-equipped computers through the Echo ExpressCard adapter and ingest footage from multiple SxS memory cards at the same time.”
Sonnet has also shown an expansion chassis for PCIe cards, the Echo Express SE. The new, lower cost device enables the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCIe adapter cards, originally designed for use in desktop computers, with any computer equipped with a Thunderbolt port.
The Echo Express SE was designed for users needing a simple way to connect an adapter card to their computer, and supports the majority of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards. Weighing in at just 2.4 pounds and measuring just 5.7 inches wide by 8.8 inches long by 2.9 inches tall, the SE is lighter and more compact than its siblings, yet it still provides great protection for the card with its rugged aluminum case. The new chassis supports a single half-length (up to 6.5 inches long), full-height, single-width, x8 PCIe 2.0 card and ships with an external 60W power supply. Like the other Echo Express expansion chassis, the SE has dual Thunderbolt ports to support daisy chaining of devices, and features a temperature-controlled fan to help keep hot-running cards cool; when not needed, the fan slows down to a whisper. The SE also conserves energy by powering on and off with the computer to which it’s attached.