Unit was originally announced in spring 2013, delayed due to upgrades
Sonnet has finally started shipping the Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock, which if first announced more than two years ago. In part, the delay was due to the announcement of Thunderbolt 2 shortly after Sonnet began accepting pre-orders, pushing the breakout box into 2014. From there, production issues have keep the unit off shelves until now, and the now-shipping dock offers four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a FireWire 800 port, two 6Gb/s eSATA ports, and more.
Eight-bay NAS allows for playback, editing simultaneously
QNAP Systems has announced the availability of what it says is the world's first Thunderbolt 2 NAS with triple 4K playback support. The Turbo vNAS TVS-871T boasts up to 20Gbps bandwidth, 4K video-capable Thunderbolt 2, and compatibility with Thunderbolt-ready storage expansion enclosures. QNAP's new TVS-871T is aimed at creative media professionals that want to streamline their existing workflows while maintaining the ability to work with large 4K video files.
New technology expected to be seen in next year's devices
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today announced it has published the Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) standard version 1.4b. This new release incorporates a number of key protocol refinements and clarifications resulting from VESA member companies' product development efforts. These enhancements to the eDP standard will further optimize interoperability of integrated displays and personal electronic devices, and will be integrated into future revisions of USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt technology.
Multiple USB port, Thunderbolt 2, capacities up to 12TB highlights of offering
WD today introduced the My Book Pro Thunderbolt 2 storage device. The array, pre-formatted for OS X, is available in four capacities, is aimed at 4K content producers, and pairs two 7200RPM hard drives on a Thunderbolt 2 interface to deliver 435MB/s transfer rates. A hot-swappable hardware RAID controller gives users RAID 0 or 1 options for the drives, and front-mounted USB ports can be used to charge devices, or to connect and transfer files.
New NAS allows for two simultaneous Thunderbolt 2 Mac users
QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the Thunderbolt 2 Turbo vNAS TVS-871T. The new attached storage device features 20Gbps bandwidth, 4K video capable Thunderbolt 2, and compatibility with the Thunderbolt-ready storage expansion enclosures TX-500P and TX-800P. The high transfer speed of DAS and the accessibility of NAS is aimed at creative media professionals looking to streamline large 4K video and design workflows.
RAID array moves over 1GB/s of data when fully populated
Storage and accessory company Buffalo today announced availability of its new DriveStation Ultra, a high-capacity Thunderbolt 2 direct attached storage solution aimed at businesses and professionals that demand fast data transfer speeds for large files, such as high resolution 4K video. The 10-drive array allows for write speeds up to 1,243 MB/s using RAID 0 across Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt 3 may be up to 40 gigabits per second, twice that the prior generation
Chip manufacturer Intel will show the next generation of Thunderbolt at next month's Computex in Taiwan. Alongside the reveal of Thunderbolt 3, Intel is also showing USB Type C 3.1, the next iteration of the new connectivity standard that debuted on Apple's MacBook rebirth.
Rugged Thunderbolt drive proof against 1m drop, splash-resistant
LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology, announced today that its Rugged Thunderbolt storage solution will be available in a 1TB SSD capacity. With double the storage, the new LaCie Rugged is just as portable with no size or weight increase compared to the 500 GB offering.
transferring data, benefits of Thunderbolt and more
This week in the MacNN forums, Professional Poster "badidea" was looking for help figuring out what is necessary to merge the data from an old hard drive with a new SSD that they installed on their Mac. Yesterday, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was asking if there was any benefit to getting a Thunderbolt flash drive or Thunderbolt HDD for external storage, or if something without Thunderbolt would be just as good.
Malware not suspected, flaw in driver or buffer likely the culprit
Some Apple Thunderbolt displays either in line with a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter or connected through the wired Ethernet port on the display seem to be flooding networks periodically with junk packets. A series of user submitted threads on the Apple customer self-support forums are demonstrating that periodically, a Thunderbolt display manifesting the issue is broadcasting 800mbit/s of data to every port in the local area network, effectively knocking fast Ethernet (100mbit/s) users off the network in an inadvertent denial of service attack launched by the display.
Increasing LCD panel resolution driving need for protocol upgrade
The group responsible for the DisplayPort protocol, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), yesterday published the Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) Standard version 1.4a. The new eDP 1.4a enables a higher video data transfer rate for increased panel resolution up to 8K, greater color depth and higher refresh rates. It also incorporates the VESA Display Stream Compression (DSC) Standard v1.1, and includes a new segmented panel architecture.
Separation expected to cater more to Mac, professional users
Drive manufacturer Seagate has confirmed that it will stop offering Thunderbolt storage and adapters under its own brand name, and will instead leave Thunderbolt drives and storage options to the separate LaCie division, which it acquired in 2012.
Seagate's retiring of the USM connectors also likely signals the end of any drive compatibility with FireWire 800 as well, along with the option of connector interchangeability.
Portable external storage and protective case models for adventurers
Storage accessory maker G-Technology has expanded its line of external storage devices today at CES with three new ruggedized drives and a new protective case. The new hard drives are outfitted with shock-proof cases to survive drops onto hard surfaces or into water. Prices range from $80–$230, depending on model and storage capacity, and offers options for either USB 3 or Thunderbolt connectivity. In addition, the company is selling its latest protective case separately, so that users can "ruggedize" existing G-Tech drives.
No firmware bootkits in circulation
The firmware on some Macs can be rewritten via a Thunderbolt device loaded with a special replacement ROM, according to Trammel Hudson, a security researcher who spoke at the 31st convention of the Chaos Computer Club, held in Hamburg. The hack is dubbed "Thunderstrike," and reportedly can't be detected once it's installed. More importantly, it can't be removed by reinstalling OS X or replacing a hard drive, since it impacts the boot ROM (which is independent) and replaces Apple's public RSA key, blocking future firmware updates unless the attacker's key is used. It can even copy itself to optional ROMs in other Thunderbolt devices connected to a compromised Mac during a restart.
Device cheaper than rival Thunderbolt docks
CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock.
Also improves audio, USB features
Video accessory maker Elgato has released the Thunderbolt 2 Dock, an update of a product it shipped earlier this year. Because of the switch to Thunderbolt 2, it's capable of supporting configurations such as dual displays or a 4K monitor. Elgato has also made other improvements as well, such as amplified audio output, and stand-alone bus power for USB devices. This means that the dock will power USB devices regardless of whether a computer is on or connected.
Includes twin Thunderbolt 2, five USB 3.0 connections
Other World Computing has announced a new peripheral, the Thunderbolt 2 Dock. The device expands the number of connections available on a Mac, mainly through twin Thunderbolt 2 ports; while one is meant to connect to the computer, together they can daisy-chain up to five extra Thunderbolt devices. USB devices can be connected through one of five powered USB 3.0 ports.
Multiple mixers in parallel can control up to 256 channels on Thunderbolt
Audio hardware company MOTU is now shipping the 24Ai and 24Ao, two new audio interfaces that offer 24 channels of analog audio input or output in a single rack space, combined with three banks of ADAT optical, for a total of 72 channels of I/O. Similar to the 1248, 8M and 16A models released by MOTU earlier this year, the 24Ai and 24Ao are equipped with DSP-driven mixing/effects and AVB Ethernet. With all five interface models, users can mix and match complementary I/O configurations and unify operation on their shared AVB audio networking platform.
How fast can a quartet of hard drives push data across Thunderbolt 2?
Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate on the fast-speed bus. The problem is that the introduction of new ports doesn't preclude the need to use old ports. Highpoint has a solution for those eSATA drive cases in the Thunderbolt 2 RocketStor 6324L host adapter for eSATA devices. Bridging devices for older connectors can be expensive, and sometimes its worth it to replace the enclosure instead -- does the value equation hold up for this speed-oriented adapter? Check our review to find out.
New version drives 25.9Gbps of uncompressed video
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the release of the DisplayPort 1.3 standard. An update to the widely-used DisplayPort 1.2a standard, this latest version increases the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4Gbps, with each of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1Gbps per lane -- a 50 percent increase from the previous version of the DisplayPort standard. Allowing for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.9Gbps of uncompressed video data.
Bridgeboard on drive replaceable with PCIe SSD
Seagate's LaCie branch today announced the latest evolution of its d2 desktop storage line. The latest LaCie d2 features a new all–aluminum unibody enclosure, dual Thunderbolt 2, and USB 3.0. In addition, LaCie designed the d2 Thunderbolt 2 to be upgradable with a SSD daughterboard, which boosts speeds up to 1,150MB per second when the SSD is accessed.
New dock features dual USB 3.0, eSATA, audio, pass-through Thunderbolt
HighPoint Technologies has launched the "world's first" Thunderbolt 2-powered connectivity dock, the RocketStor 6351A. Each of the dual five-gigabit-per-second USB 3.0 ports and 6Gb per second eSATA port is powered by dedicated controller, allowing for peak speed for connected peripherals. Audio and Gigabit Ethernet ports round out connectivity options, with a pass-through Thunderbolt 2 port to daisy chain up to five devices downstream of the dock.
ATX and E-ATX boards displayed at show, Brix machines doing better than expected
Gigabyte brought out the largest number of motherboards for Intel's Haswell Extreme Processors to Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle over the weekend, showing off six X99 boards for consumers. From high-end gaming boards to the affordable Ultra Durable line, Gigabyte wanted to project a leading position for consumers that want to jump into Intel's most recent technology.
New device features failover, wake-on-lan, driverless installation
Sonnet Technologies today announced the Twin 10G Thunderbolt 2 to Dual-Port Copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) Adapter, a near-plug-and-play solution for adding 10GbE network connectivity to any computer with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports. Featuring 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, the Twin 10G enables users to connect to high-speed infrastructure and storage systems using the 10GbE standard -- offering up to 10 times the performance of Gigabit Ethernet.
Does the KTU10 give USB 3.0 to 2011 Macs as well as Kanex claims?
Apple has never been shy about funky ports -- first it was Apple Desktop Bus, and its own DIN-8 serial port. Following that came FireWire and the first widespread implementation of USB. USB and FireWire still exist in faster versions that the original incarnations, but now Apple's got Thunderbolt -- yet another fast speed peripheral connection protocol. While eSATA isn't a wide-spread Mac connectivity protocol, inexpensive cases abound for the connector, which modern Macs without PCI-e slots can't handle. Connectivity specialists Kanex has a solution with the KTU10 Thunderbolt to eSATA and USB 3.0 adapter. Adapters can be problematic, as any computer user knows by now. How well does the small Kanex box suit the bill? Check our review to find out.
Thunderbolt added to listing of testing areas
Apple has begun distributing a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers, available via the Mac App Store or the Mac Developer Center. The code is listed as build 13F12. In addition to Safari, graphics, and USB/USB smart card issues highlighted in the first beta, Apple is now also asking users to test out Thunderbolt connections.
New devices can receive up to 128 channels of audio across Thunderbolt
Audio device manufacturer MOTU has announced three new Thunderbolt audio interfaces with 48-channel mixing, DSP effects and AVB Ethernet audio networking for system expansion. Based on a new shared technology platform, the 1248, 8M and 16a use ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, and provide low analog latency, with round-trip performance of only 32 samples (0.66 ms) at 48 kHz.
RackMac Pro allows two Mac Pro computers in 4u of rack space
Upgrade component maker Sonnet is debuting a pair of new Thunderbolt devices at this year's IBC2014 industry conference. New this year are the RackMac Pro dual-Mac Pro rackmount solution for Apple's cylindrical computing powerhouse. Additionally, the company is also releasing the Thunderbolt Pro P2 Card Reader, commonly used in high-end digital video cameras.
New design also increases environmental protection
Storage maker LaCie has announced an update to its Rugged external hard drive, adding an integrated Thunderbolt cable. While on the surface the feature is just more convenient, it also improves protection against dust, water, and other contaminants, since the drive's cap can be left on unless a person needs a USB 3.0 connection. When not in use, the Thunderbolt cable wraps around a groove and tucks into the space sealed by the cap.
All-in-one unit expands external storage options through single Thunderbolt port
Accessory maker Firmtek announced that it has begun shipping its newest all-in-one Thunderbolt storage system, the Thundertek/PX2+2. Certified for use with Macs and PCs, the storage unit brings together two previous products from Firmtek, the Thundertek/PX PCI-e aluminum expansion chassis, and Seritek/6G2+2 storage adapter.
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt now available in 10TB capacity
Other World Computing has announced a new 10TB capacity for its Mercury Elite Pro Dual storage line. Featuring high-speed Thunderbolt technology, Hardware RAID options, USB 3.0 speed and the capacity to handle 4K video content, the 10TB Mercury Elite Pro Dual storage hard drive includes sustained data rates up to 442MB per second read at 7200RPM. Priced at $950, the latest drive is now available for order.
Device supports 24/96 audio, four inputs, phantom power
Resident Audio, a new company dedicated to designing and creating audio tools, has introduced the T4, the first multi-channel Thunderbolt audio interface which requires no external power. The T4 supports 24-bit/96kHz audio with near-zero latency for virtually instantaneous recording and playback.
Dubbed 'Alpine Ridge,' technology could appear as early as next year
Continuing to keep one step ahead of reported improvements in next-generation USB technology, Intel is said to be working on a third-generation Thunderbolt system that would double throughput to 40 gigabits (Gb) per second and yet reduce power requirements by as much as 50 percent, though the new connector would support up to 100 watts of charging power. The revised plug, which is backward-compatible with an adapter, will be about three millimeters (0.12 inches) in width, down from the current 4.5mm height.
Capacities up to 8TB available in USB 3.0, Thunderbolt dual-interface case
Peripheral vendor Other World Computing today expanded its family of Thunderbolt interface storage products with the addition of the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual external high-performance drive with hardware RAID capabilities. The new design is available in capacities up to 8TB.
Thunderbolt 2 G-Speed RAID delivers 4k-compatible speed with hard drives
Storage manufacturer G-Technology today announced the latest additions in its Evolution Series family -- the G-Drive EV SSD and the 500GB G-Drive EV external drive modules. Also released are the four-bay Thunderbolt 2 G-Speed Studio with hardware RAID, and the two-bay G-Speed RAID Studio.
Four- and eight-channel devices adapt older external storage enclosures
Storage and networking device maker Highpoint is adding a pair of new Thunderbolt devices to its product lineup. The storage connectivity vendor has debuted the eight-channel Rocketstor 6328L, along with the four-channel RocketStor 6324L eSATA and SAS Thunderbolt 2 adapters at this week's National Association of Broadcasters show.
RAID arrays can drive over 1GB per second
Seagate Technology's LaCie brand announced at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show three new storage solutions featuring Thunderbolt 2 technology. The LaCie 8big Rack, 5big, and 2big now feature Thunderbolt 2, along with the latest technologies from Seagate, including new 6TB hard drives.
New HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt offers capture and playback for variety of programs
Motu has announced the release of its new HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt technology. Offering a HD/SD video production workstation for any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (or PC), its I/O technology supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data services though a single port. Users can connect any video source to the HDX-SDI, with best image quality derived from uncompressed video capture.
Also include HDMI, USB 3.0, Ethernet ports
Elgato has released the Thunderbolt Dock, its own entry for MacBook owners looking to expand connection options. The peripheral includes two Thunderbolt ports, the second enabling passthroughs to other Thunderbolt devices. Also present are three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet connections, and headphone and microphone jacks.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
Drive features integrated Thunderbolt cable
Drive manufacturer WD today introduced My Passport Pro, the first portable and Thunderbolt-powered dual-drive. The peripheral is available in 2TB and 4TB capacities, and sports a Thunderbolt cable built into the case itself, which also powers the drive. A user-selectable RAID function lets users choose data striping (RAID 0) for high performance or mirroring (RAID 1) for data redundancy.
New Thunderbolt accessory provides eSATA, USB3
Akitio has expanded its line of Thunderbolt accessories with its new Thunder dock. With eSATA, FireWire 800, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt pass-through, the new accessory aims to provide a sensible set of additional ports for most MacBooks manufactured in the past three years. Check out our full review to see if the Thunder is a must-have desk accessory.
828x audio interface with Thunderbolt technology provides comprehensive I/O
MOTU has released its newest audio interface of the 828 series, the 828x with Thunderbolt connectivity. Though still possessing USB 2.0 connections, the 828x provides low-latency performance thanks to Thunderbolt, due to the latter's ability to maintain speed in high-bandwidth applications.
Elgato adds USB3.0 to Thunderbolt SSD
Elgato recently introduced its Thunderbolt Drive+ portable SSD, building upon the company's existing Thunderbolt SSD that we tried out last year. The new offering ads USB 3.0 connectivity for cross-platform convenience, while transfer speeds are claimed to get a boost up to 420MBps. Check out our full review to see how the Drive+ performs against its predecessor.
New dock gives three USB 3.0 UASP ports, audio in/out
Connectivity specialist StarTech has announced the availability of its new Thunderbolt Docking Station which enables users to add a variety of connectivity options to a Thunderbolt-equipped computer. The new docking station can be positioned vertically or horizontally to best suit the desk space, and includes a one-meter Thunderbolt cable to provide a ready-to-connect docking solution right out of the box.
Promise RAID arrays, Sharp 4K display among earliest accessories
Now that the redesigned Mac Pro is finally out, buyers lucky enough to get one of the early ones will also be shopping for accessories. While a number of third-party manufacturers have already begun ramping up to support the new tower, offerings specifically targeting Mac Pro buyers are still thin on the ground. The online Apple Store, however, has an UltraHD (4K) display monitor, new black Thunderbolt cables and existing storage expansion solutions on offer.
USB 3.0 upgrade for older Macs
Several companies currently offer Thunderbolt docks to expand the interface options for recent MacBooks. CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station is one of the latest, providing a wide range of connections including USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet ports, among others. Check out our full review for a closer look at the new docking station.
Units support three PCI-e cards, one model embeds a Mac mini internally
Magma has announced pricing and availability for three new Thunderbolt to PCIe expansion products. The product family is called Roben-3 and is designed to be the expansion solution for creative professionals who have adopted the Thunderbolt interface as the main high-speed input-output option, such as users of the upcoming Mac Pro.
Also supports USB 3.0 systems
Elgato has launched a new portable storage drive, the Thunderbolt Drive+. The unit is based on an SSD, and capable of speeds up to 420MBps. Despite its name, it includes both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports, which also double as power sources. For durabilty's sake the drive uses an IP64-certified metal enclosure that protects against dust and water as well as impacts.
Adds USB 3.0, HDMI, other connections
CalDigit has announced that a new peripheral, the Thunderbolt Station, will be shipping on November 4. The unit is meant to expand the number of ports on a Mac, particularly MacBooks, which often have very few native connections. It adds three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI connection, a gigabit Ethernet jack, and audio in/out ports. A second Thunderbolt port is meant for daisy-chaining the Station to other Thunderbolt-ready devices.