LaCie Increased FireWire Drive Performance To 45MB/s

LaCie has released a new line of FireWire hard drives that reach a maximum transfer rate of 45MB/second. Older FireWire hard drives, while taking advantage of the easy to use IEEE-1394 interface, were limited in speed by older IDE "bridges" that data had to pass over. The new drives from LaCie use a native FireWire controller, therefore eliminating previous data bottlenecks and offering blistering fast performance. According to LaCie:

LaCie will unveil a complete family of external hard drives that double the data throughput performance for low-cost ATAPI drives in the high-speed IEEE 1394 user environment. The 20GB, 45GB, 60GB and 75GB drives stream data to the computer at a sustained transfer rate of 35MB/s with burst performance to 45MB/s. Ideal for storing, exchanging and working on large files such as digital video, the new LaCie Fast FireWire eliminate quality and video frame loss. The LaCie Fast FireWire HDDs provide digital video, music and digital imaging professionals with a fast, portable and secure storage capability for content development projects. Depending upon capacity, the drives can store more than five hours of DV video, more than 100 CD-Audio images and more than a mile-high stack of text documents. The new drives can be quickly and easily connected to the native FireWire ports that are standard with Macintosh(R) G3, G4 and iMac DV systems as well as PCs incorporating Windows(R) 98 Second Edition or Windows 2000.

Fully ATA 100 compliant, LaCieis new Fast FireWire supports Ultra DMA mode 5 used in todayis high-performance hard drives and operating systems including Apple(R) iMac, iBook and PC FireWire systems such as the Macintosh(R) G4 workstations and Cubes, PowerBooks and the iMacDV systems as well as some Windows(R) 98SE and 2000 PCs. By enhancing the external 20GB, 45GB, 60GB and 75GB drives with a new built-in Fast FireWire controller, LaCie provides users with a fast and efficient means of exchanging large files such as high-resolution photos and digital videos with no risk of data loss.

LaCieis new Fast FireWire controller is a 400 Mbps interface that is based on a 1394 to IDE/ATAPI bridge dual chipset. The higher transfer rate of the Fast FireWire digital link also makes the LaCie external hard drive ideal for users storing large-volume video and graphic files or capturing video from DV camcorders. The LaCie Fast FireWire drives also provide content developers with added security because complete projects can be stored on the drives and locked up when not being reviewed, worked on or used.

With Fast FireWire support, the drives are hot-pluggable. Users can plug a LaCie drive in, remove it or swap it with others without shutting down or rebooting the computer. The drive mounts automatically as soon as it is connected. There is no need for terminators, device IDs or elaborate setup. This allows the LaCie Fast FireWire hard drive to be easily transferred between Macintosh G4 workstations and Cubes, FireWire-equipped PowerBooks and iMac DV systems. When plugged into a FireWire-equipped computer, the LaCie Fast FireWire drive looks and performs just like any other drive on the system. When properly formatted, the drive can even be used to share video and graphics files between Mac and Windows computers.

Pricing for the new hard drives is set to start at US$573, and the products should hit stores sometime in May. You can find more information about their full line of products at the LaCie Web site.