NAB 2012 news: Sonnet shipping fast, cheap, Thunderbolt SxS reader

Recent updates to Sony drivers have given Sonnet’s Echo ExpressCard Thunderbolt adapter and Qio E3 3-slot SxS reader a new lease of life. Sonnet and Sony worked together to develop a Thunderbolt-compatible Mac OS X driver that would enable the Echo ExpressCard adapter to function as an SxS reader, and revealed this morning that not only was the project a success, but the new driver will also allow anyone who connects a Qio E3 to their Mac via an Echo to get full functionality from the reader. Huzzah! (Well, okay, we had this working on our BVE stand so we’re not that surprised, but still. Huzzah!)

As the Sonnet Technology press release is quick to remind us, “High-performance SxS memory cards are used in Sony’s popular XDCAM EX line of professional HD camcorders and the ARRI ALEXA line of digital cameras, and share the same form factor and connector as ExpressCard/34 adapter cards. These shared traits make ingesting footage from SxS media a quick, simple task in ExpressCard slot-equipped notebook computers. In any other situation, this process requires the use of a specialized media reader, such as Sonnet’s Qio pro media readers with multiple SxS slots for speedy file offloads.”

The new drivers allow the Echo ExpressCard adapter to read SxS, SxS Pro and SxS-1 cards, all at speeds topping 100MBps if you have a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac. If you’ve got a Qio E3, you can hook it up to your Mac via an Echo and transfer data from all three slots simultaneously.
“Thunderbolt delivers unparalleled performance, flexibility and simplicity to personal computing.” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt marketing. “The Sonnet Echo ExpressCard Thunderbolt Adapter and Qio E3 help highlight what Thunderbolt technology makes possible.”
The new driver is available from Sony’s site.

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