IRVINE, CA — Sonnet (www.sonnettech.com) announces the Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit — Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition, the latest addition to the company’s line of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion systems.
The new chassis is an accessory for Sonnet's xMac Pro Server and Echo Express III-R rackmount expansion systems, and is itself a self-contained three-slot PCI Express (PCIe) expansion system that mounts inside the xMac Pro's or III-R's enclosure and can connect to a second 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 bus on a Mac Pro computer. The PCIe Card Expansion Edition enables the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCIe cards with the latest Mac Pro computer or any other computer with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new model supports every low-profile, Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card on the market.
The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition features 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, which provides ample bandwidth for many demanding, high-performance PCIe cards, and incorporates support for the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables video streaming to a 4K video monitor. The PCIe Card Expansion Edition is intended for use with a wide variety of high-bandwidth networking cards, host bus adapters, storage interface cards and even some pro-video I/O cards. The expansion chassis' dual Thunderbolt 2 ports support daisy chaining of other Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt devices.
The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition was designed for Mac Pro power users needing a simple way to connect more than three adapter cards to their computers without taking up additional rack space, and to take advantage of the additional PCIe bandwidth afforded by the computer's multiple Thunderbolt 2 busses. When used with an Echo Express III-R or xMac Pro Server, the PCIe Card Expansion Edition enables users to install a total of six PCIe cards, and connect them to the computer via two Thunderbolt cables.
In addition, with 20Gbps of bandwidth dedicated to each set of three PCIe slots, users may implement load balancing, installing more than one very high bandwidth adapter, such as a 16Gb Fibre Channel or 12Gbp/s SAS/SATA controller card, without running into the bandwidth limitations of a single Thunderbolt 2 bus. The new chassis supports low-profile PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 cards.
The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition is expected to be available in Summer 2015 at an MSRP of $699.