Sonnet adds an ExpressCard/34 slot to Thunderbolt Macs
By Gizmag Team
September 18, 2011
The flow of Thunderbolt peripherals onto the market definitely seems to be building steam with this latest example from Sonnet bringing expanded connectivity options to those with machines packing Apple's new I/O technology. Sonnet's US$150 EchoExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter uses a PCIe interface to link a range of existing peripherals such as USB 3.0, FireWire 800, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet and high speed memory cards through a single Thunderbolt port.
Measuring 2.1" x 3.7" x .75" (53.4 x 94.2 x 19.2 mm), the EchoExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter requires Apple's Thunderbolt cable (which will set you back US$49) for connection to the Mac computer. From there, a range of ExpressCard/34 cards can be used (and hot-swapped) to get up to 5Gb/s transfer speeds from a variety of interfaces.
The full list of compatible adapters is available at the Sonnet site. The company also notes that it "expects other manufacturer's ExpressCard/34 products to become compatible as their drivers are updated to be Thunderbolt technology-aware."
Sonnet's EchoExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter is currently available for pre-order at US$149.95 with shipping slated to begin in October 2011.