The Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter demonstrates the power of Thunderbolt to bring flexible, high-performance connectivity to compact computers. But we are still in the first generation of devices like this, and it will be a while before prices drop out of the stratosphere.
Will The First Thunderbolt Peripheral Be The iMac?
Apple and Intel introduced the impressive new Thunderbolt interconnect last month on the MacBook Pro line, but folks like me who bought one have nothing to connect to yet. It was exciting to see the wide variety of Thunderbolt peripherals on display at the NAB show in Las Vegas last week, but none of these will ship to end-users before the middle of the summer. But evidence is mounting that Apple will be the first out of the gate with a Thunderbolt peripheral, it just won’t be the sort of peripheral you might expect. I am hearing rumors that the new iMac, to be introduced this month, will be both a Thunderbolt host and peripheral in one! Read on for what this means in the real world.
Thunderbolt = Light Peak = Mini DisplayPort + PCI Express
Apple unveiled their new line of MacBook Pro laptops today, complete with “Thunderbolt”, the trade name for a production packaging of Light Peak and Mini DisplayPort. After much speculation, we finally have some concrete information about Light Peak, and perhaps a peek into the next generation of I/O technologies!
USB 3.0 For Mac Is Here!
My experience using USB 3.0 on a Mac has been wonderful. It’s so well-integrated you might not notice it except for the performance. At over 200 MB/s, it blows FireWire out of the water and is even faster than nearly any device you’re likely to throw at it. CalDigit sent me their Mac OS X-compatible USB 3.0 PCI Express card for evaluation, and I’m pleased as punch with the card.
LaCie Releases USB 3.0 Driver For Mac OS X (But It Only Works With LaCie Drives)
Steve Jobs isn’t too keen on USB 3.0, apparently, but other vendors are stepping in to fill the void. CalDigit was first with a USB 3.o driver, but it was tied to the pricey PCI Express and Mini-PCIe cards they sell. Now LaCie is out with a free driver for just about any USB 3.0 card, but it’s locked to LaCie’s storage products. Let’s hope we get an unlocked driver soon!