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Sonnet Announces Imminent Release of Echo™ Express III Three-Slot Thunderbolt™-to-PCIe® Expansion Chassis and Upcoming Support for Thunderbolt 2 Technology
Desktop or 2U Rackmount Three-Slot Chassis Will Ship With Certificate for Free Upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 Technology
When first announced, the Echo Express III-D and III-R were designed with 10 Gb/sec Thunderbolt interfaces. Since then, Intel announced 20 Gb/sec Thunderbolt 2, and Apple® announced the radical new Mac Pro® with six Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Sonnet will ship the current expansion products equipped with 10 Gb/sec Thunderbolt, and will include a coupon for a free exchange to 20 Gb/sec Thunderbolt 2 (the customer pays only shipping and handling costs).
Both the Echo Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-R rackmount chassis feature dual Thunderbolt ports to support daisy-chaining of devices, and are designed for users needing an optimum solution for connecting three PCIe cards to their computer. Each new chassis supports up to three full-length, full-height, single-width PCIe 2.0 cards with one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots. The III-D is well-suited for use in most workflows and small enough to fit in many travel bags. The III-R mounts in a 2U tall (3.5 inches) rack space, and its enclosure is just 16 inches deep, making it perfect for use in a wide range of popular mobile racks, carts, and rack cases, and even server rooms.
The III-R even saves space for other equipment. Utilizing the optional Echo Express III Mobile Rack Kit, users can install two 5.25-inch form-factor mobile rack devices in the III-R's enclosure. The mobile rack supports a wide array of devices — ranging from an internal LTO tape drive plus four swappable 2.5-inch SSDs, to an optical drive plus a Sonnet Qio™ MR pro universal media reader, to three swappable 3.5-inch hard disk drives — without taking up additional rack space. The Mobile Rack Kit easily installs into the Echo chassis' enclosure and houses one full-height (3.2 inches) or two half-height (1.6 inches) mobile rack devices up to 8 inches deep. A separate 250W power supply inside the Mobile Rack Kit powers the installed devices while its internal fan works to keep things cool.
Each new Echo chassis integrates a universal 300-watt power supply and includes a 75-watt PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid® Pro Tools|HDX or the new RED® ROCKET-X. The Echo chassis was designed to be remarkably quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. The rise of air through the PCIe cards via natural convection is assisted by dual top-mounted, ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled fans, and air exits through a custom Venturi opening with low-form drag grills. The unit's air-flow-control features combine to reduce air velocity, turbulence, and, consequently, fan noise. The chassis' components remain reliably cool, and because the fans speed up and slow down as needed, there is no guesswork in setting a switch position, and no need for tools to change settings. The Echo Express III-D and III-R are the quietest Echo chassis yet. They also conserve energy by automatically powering off when the computer to which they are attached sleeps or is disconnected.
The Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R enable iMac®, Mac mini, new Mac Pro®, MacBook® Air, and MacBook Pro® computers equipped with a Thunderbolt port to use Thunderbolt-compatible professional video I/O, audio interface, SAS and SATA HBA, 16 Gb and 8 Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gb Ethernet, and RAID controller cards. The list of compatible cards is available on Sonnet's website and is continually expanding as more cards are tested and certified. Like the other models in the Echo family, the Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R were designed, engineered, and built by Sonnet in California. The systems are backed with Sonnet's Pro five-year warranty.
"The new line of PCIe chassis products with Thunderbolt 2 from Sonnet is going to be a game changer for media creators," said Jason Ziller, director of marketing for Thunderbolt at Intel. "For the first time, on-the-go media creators can capture, edit, and display 4K or multistream HD in real time through a single compact port."
"We are proud to release the Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R," said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. "These quiet Echo chassis deliver outstanding performance and value and, when equipped with Thunderbolt 2 technology, will ensure that even the most demanding cards will perform at their peak with the new Mac Pro and other Thunderbolt 2 technology-equipped computers. We are especially pleased to be delivering our most advanced Thunderbolt-to-PCIe expansion chassis in a slim 2U rackmount configuration, with room for mobile rack devices. This is exactly what our customers have been asking for since we began shipping Thunderbolt technology-equipped products over a year ago."
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-EXP3F-R-MR) has a suggested retail price of $199. All models are expected to ship Sept. 23. More information on the products is available at www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressiii.html.
More information on Sonnet and its other products is available at www.sonnettech.com.
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