Sonnet Announces Echo Express III-D, III-R, and SE II Expansion Chassis with Thunderbolt 2 Technology

Sonnet Announces Echo Express III-D, III-R, and SE II Expansion Chassis with Thunderbolt 2 Technology

Sonnet has announced that its Echo Express III-D (desktop), Echo Express III-R (rackmount), and Echo Express SE II (desktop) Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion chassis are the first devices of their kind to ship with 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 interfaces.

Image source: Sonnet.

These new members of Sonnet's Echo Express family of expansion products enable any Mac computer equipped with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports to interface with a wide variety of high-performance PCIe cards originally designed only for use in desktop computers. The Echo Express III-D, Echo Express III-R, and Echo Express SE II incorporate ultra-fast Thunderbolt 2 technology, which delivers twice the throughput of 10Gbps Thunderbolt.

The new expansion chassis support every kind of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card available, enabling the use of professional video capture, audio interface, 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SAS and SATA HBA, and RAID controller cards with Thunderbolt-enabled iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers. Plus, the Sonnet systems' dual Thunderbolt 2 ports support full-bandwidth connectivity with Thunderbolt 2-equipped host computers, full backward compatibility with 10Gbps Thunderbolt-equipped computers and devices, and daisy-chaining of other Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt devices.

Designed for users that require an optimum solution for connecting three PCIe cards to their computers, both the Echo Express III-D and Echo Express III-R provide one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots to support three full-length, full-height, single-width PCIe cards. Both chassis feature a built-in universal 300W power supply with a 75W auxiliary power connector to support PCIe cards with higher power requirements. In addition, the systems integrate two large ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled cooling fans to enable their use in noise-sensitive environments.

The Echo Express SE II was designed for users needing a simple way to connect two adapter cards to their computers, and it supports all but long Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards. The new chassis supports two half-length (up to 19.7cm), full-height PCIe 2.0 x8 cards and provides an additional space for a daughter card.

  Price in US$
Echo Express III-D (part number ECHO-EXP3F-D) $979
Echo Express III-R (part number ECHO-EXP3F-R) $1,199
Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit (part number ECHO-EXP3FR-MRM) $199
Echo Express SE II (part number ECHO-EXP-SE2) $499

Until now, the Echo Express III-D, III-R, and SE II have been equipped with 1Gbps Thunderbolt technology. Customers who purchased these Echo Express systems received an in-box coupon for a free upgrade to Thunderbolt 2. They will be able to claim their Thunderbolt 2 upgrade from 3 Feb to 31 Mar.

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