Sonnet have released a Thunderbolt dock solution that covers a range of bases and in other news from Sonnet a 4 port USB 3.0 card, the Mac Mini 1U enclosure also caught our eye.
Sonnet Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Sonnet's new Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock enables you to connect any Mac with a Thunderbolt port to a variety of peripherals through a single Thunderbolt cable. You can plug in your printer, keyboard, mouse, cable modem, external hard drive, display, headphones, speakers, microphone, and iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod®, and other devices to the Echo dock with USB 3.0, eSATA, FireWire® 800, Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 3.5 mm audio input, 3.5 mm audio output, and a Thunderbolt pass through connector.
With the Echo 15+ dock you can also choose a burner drive from a choice of DVD±RW drive, Blu-ray Disc™ player (BD-ROM/8x DVD±RW), or Blu-Ray burner (4x BD-R/8x DVD±RW) optical drive.
You can also fit an internal Hard Drive or SSD in the Echo 15+, either one 3.5" hard drive or two 6 Gb/s 2.5" SSDs or hard drives.
Both Thunderbolt connectors on the back of the Echo 15+ support Sonnet's new Thunderbolt Lock connector which gives you the security that the thunderbolt connector won't fall out at the most inopportune moment.
The Echo dock’s USB 3.0 ports support UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) and Wake On Demand (Wake On USB 3.0). UASP support ensures that UASP-enabled external drives connected to the dock achieve their maximum data transfer rate potential, with performance improved by up to 20% above the drive connected to a USB host without UASP support. Wake on demand support allows devices such as a keyboard connected to the Echo dock's USB 3.0 ports to wake your computer. In addition the USB 3.0 sockets can charge your iPad, iPhone, or iPod, even when your computer is disconnected, off, or sleeping.
This seems like a proper grown up Thunderbolt Dock solution with all the necessary I/O including the all important second Thunderbolt connection so you can easily connect other Thunderbolt peripherals. It's a shame that they don't include a Thunderbolt cable with it. It would help to promote their Thunderbolt lock system if they included a cable with the Thunderbolt lock on it.
USB 3.0 For Your Mac Pro Tower
As USB 3.0 becomes more and more common as a storage and peripherals connection format, those of us with Mac Pro cheesegraters are not able to benefit from USB 3.0. On the stand here at IBC 2015 Greg LaPorte also showed me their new Allegro™ Pro USB 3.0 PCIe adapter that is ideal for the Mac Pro tower, but also will be at home in a Windows® PC, or Thunderbolt™ 2-to-PCIe card expansion system. This 'pro' Sonnet card adds four USB 3.0 ports to your computer, but unlike most adapter cards, on this Sonnet card, each port has its own controller. So instead of sharing a single controller’s bandwidth, each port gets its own, enabling the Allegro Pro card to support aggregate transfer speeds of up to 1,800 MB/s (450 MB/s per port)!
In addition this card has more power than most cards in this sector. The new Allegro™ Pro USB 3.0 PCIe adapter card supports USB 3.0 bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, DVDs & Blu-ray devices with up to 2.0A per port. In addition it supports USB 3.0 charging port handshake, and will simultaneously sync and charge iPads and other devices that support USB 3.0 charging at 1.5A per device.
Single Rack Mount & PCI-e Expansion Chassis Solution For A Mac Mini
The Mac Mini can often be more than powerful enough to power an Avid Pro Tools HD Native or smaller HDX rig and I couldn't help spotting the xMac mini Server PCIe 2.0 expansion system/1U rackmount enclosure on the Sonnet stand at IBC. In a 1U enclosure, you can mount a Mac Mini and 2 pci-e cards, So you can have an HD Native or an HDX system, because this unit supports the auxiliary power that the Avid HDX card needs. Thanks to community member Vincent Brunello for pointing out that although the unit has 2 pci-e slots, only one is full length so you can only use this for an HDX1 system.
Other products I glimpsed was a range of solutions to rack mount Mac Pro Trashcans as well as their range of smaller cards.