Sonnet Makes Slew Of MACWORLD Announcements

Sonnet Technologies has made a series of product announcements during this weekis MACWORLD Expo. Highlighting the announcements is the release of an OS X compatible ATA-100 PCI host adapter. The new PCI card allows OS X users to connect more ATA based devices to their Mac. Sonnet has also released two processor upgrades, and a key-sized flash media drive. According to Sonnet:

Sonnet Technologies announces an addition to its industry leading ATA drive controller line with the Tempo ATA100 Macintosh PCI host adapter. This new Tempo host adapter offers enhanced speed and performance of the latest-technology storage, and supports up to four internal ATA/IDE devices. It ships with one cable, which allows up to two drives, one master and one slave.

Like the Tempo Ultra ATA66, the Tempo ATA100 mimics a SCSI controller under OS 8.6 and OS 9, providing compatibility with virtually all ATA hard drives, even in pre-G3 machines. Under OS X, however, the Tempo ATA100 is recognized as a native ATA controller, supporting not only ATA hard drives, but also DVD ROMs, CD-RWs and other removable devices previously only supported via the internal Macintosh ATA bus.

A new utility, exclusive to the Tempo ATA100, allows the user to select optimal performance for audio and video playback on older systems with a simple mouse click, without restarting the system.

Sonnet has also introduced the HARMONi processor upgrade/FireWire combo card, the first complete upgrade for the original iMac. HARMONi doubles the performance of these early iMacs with a powerful 500 MHz IBM PowerPC G3 processor with 256K Level 2 backside cache operating at full processor speed (1:1). Additionally incorporating a FireWire port, HARMONi gives the first-generation iMacs the plug-and-play connection of high-performance peripheral devices such as digital cameras, DV camcorders, and CD-RW drives. This added FireWire feature of the HARMONi combo card finally allows purchasers of the original iMac to work with digital video using iMovie and other popular applications.

"Sonnet has built a successful business out of making older Macintoshes act more like current ones," explains Robert Farnsworth, president and CEO of Sonnet. "The latest iMacs are faster than the original ones, but they are also about FireWire and digital video. HARMONi allows these original iMacs to perform and connect like new ones."

Compatible iMac models for the HARMONi are: iMac 233 MHz, 266 MHz, 333 MHz (Rev A-D). The combo card operates with the iMacis existing hardware, software, RAM and peripherals. It integrates seamlessly with the system software, supporting from Mac OS 8.1 through the latest innovations of OS X.

Also from Sonnet is Piccolo, a line of flash drives about the size of a car key. Piccolo connects flash RAM to any USB port, providing convenient plug-and-play storage. Piccolo is available in sizes from 32MB to 256MB and can be used like any removable media. It is cross-platform compatible with any computer that has a standard USB connection, including most Macs and Windows PCs.

"Ever since the floppy disappeared from the Macintosh, users have been searching for a easy method to move files from one computer to another," said Robert Farnsworth, Sonnetis President and CEO. "We believe that Piccolo epitomizes the trend toward pocket portability. We are thrilled to offer this innovative product."

The computer sees Piccolo as a drive once it is plugged into any USB port, including Sonnetis Tango FireWire/USB combo card. On a Macintosh or Windows PC it mounts and appears on the desktop with no further user interaction, and can be written to or read from like any other volume. The Piccolo draws needed power from its host computer and requires no cables, diskettes, discs, readers, adapters or batteries. Piccolo comes in four capacities of 32 MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB. The first three capacities are expected to ship in August of 2001, and the 256MB version will arrive later this year.

And for PowerBook users, Sonnet announces the Crescendo/WS G3, Sonnetis first upgrade for the PowerBook G3 "Wallstreet" models and the latest addition to its product line of Crescendo processor upgrade cards. This upgrade offers a powerful 500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 1MBLevel 2 backside cache, which roughly doubles the performance of a stock machine.

The Crescendo/WS is compatible with the PowerBookis existing hardware, software, RAM and peripherals. It integrates with your system software, supporting Mac OS 8, OS 9, and the latest innovations of OS X.

The Crescendo/WS is available for US$399.95; pricing for the Piccolo drives start at US$99.95; the HARMONi G3 500/FireWire combo card is available for US$299.95, and the Tempo card will be available for US$119.95. You can find more information on all of these products at the Sonnet Web site.