Fast Today, Faster In the Future
As you may have heard, Thunderbolt 2 is coming! Apple announced the first Thunderbolt 2 technology-equipped computer, the new Mac Pro, but it won't ship until Fall 2013. The original 10Gbps Thunderbolt interface has provided breakthrough bandwidth for external expansion, more than sufficient to support the maximum performance of most PCIe cards. However, some high bandwidth cards such as the RED ROCKET, 16Gb Fibre channel, multi-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards, or multiple bandwidth-hungry cards require more than 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 removes this barrier by providing more bandwidth for demanding applications.
When first announced, the Echo Express III-D and III-R were designed with 10Gbps Thunderbolt interfaces. Since Sonnet designed the III-D and III-R to be upgradeable, we jumped at the opportunity to upgrade the products' designs to feature Thunderbolt 2 interfaces. Echo Express III-D and III-R equipped with Thunderbolt 2 will be available when Thunderbolt 2 hosts, such as the new Mac Pro, ship in Fall 2013. Until then, Sonnet will ship these expansion chassis equipped with 10Gbps Thunderbolt, and will include a coupon for one free exchange for an easy-to-install upgrade to 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 (customer pays only shipping and handling costs). More information on the exchange program will be available when these chassis ship.
PCIe 2.0 Cards Over Thunderbolt 2
Today's ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power—power that many people thought would only be possible in full-size desktop computers. Smaller in size and portable, they're very desirable. For professionals in the creative fields, this processing power alone is not enough. A prime example is the upcoming Mac Pro, destined to be a processing powerhouse and packed with Thunderbolt and USB ports, but lacking PCIe expansion slots. You need expansion slots to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for processing data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. The problem is, only large desktop computers (which aren't very portable) have expansion slots, and older PCI Express® expansion products for notebook computers have been very limited in performance—until now.
Sonnet's Echo Express III-D and III-R make it possible to use full-size professional video capture, audio interface, SAS & SATA HBA, 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards with your Thunderbolt port-equipped Mac. Featuring 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, these Echo chassis squeeze every bit of performance possible through Thunderbolt-to-PCIe expansion out of the most demanding PCIe cards, and ensure optimum performance with every compatible computer.
Smart Design Inside and Out
Constructed of rugged and lightweight aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express III-D securely protects the PCIe cards installed inside without weighing you down. The Echo Express III-R's heavy-duty steel enclosure not only provides secure mounting for the inner assembly, but it supports maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where it is installed in a rack. The III-R saves space for other equipment, too — utilizing the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, you can install two 5.25-inch form factor mobile rack devices in the III-R's enclosure. Both the III-D and III-R include an internal 300W universal power supply with a 75W auxiliary power connector and power harness cable to provide ample power for cards with high power requirements. Two large, remarkably quiet, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans and airflow management ensure that hot-running cards and the chassis' components remain reliably cool without you have to install an extra blower in one of the three slots. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down in steps as needed, there is no guesswork in setting a switch position, and no need for tools to change settings. Echo Express products are enviro-friendly, automatically powering on and off with your computer.