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PCIe Card Expansion Module

For Release: March 31, 2015

For more information, please contact:

Martin Muggee
Marketing Communications Manager

Sonnet Enhances Popular xMac™ Pro Server with Additional PCIe Card Expansion Option That Enables Load Balancing Across Thunderbolt™ 2 Busses

Three-Slot PCIe Card Expansion Module Leverages Mac Pro® Computer’s Multiple 20 Gbps Thunderbolt™ 2 Busses for Increased Bandwidth

IRVINE, CA—March 31, 2015—Sonnet today announced the Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit – Thunderbolt™ 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition, the latest addition to the award-winning 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 PCIe expansion system that mounts inside the xMac Pro’s or III-R’s enclosure and can connect to a second 20 Gbps Thunderbolt 2 bus on a Mac Pro® computer. The PCIe Card Expansion Edition enables the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express® (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 20 Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, which provides ample bandwidth for many of the most demanding, highest 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 ideally suited 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. Perhaps of greater importance, with 20 Gbps 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 list of compatible PCIe cards is available on Sonnet’s website and is continually expanding as more cards are tested and certified.

The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition features a large, ultraquiet, temperature-controlled fan that automatically speeds up as necessary to cool the installed cards when they’re hot, slows down when they’re cool, and quietly and efficiently cools the cards at all times, even during peak operation. The PCIe Card Expansion Edition also features a built-in universal 300W power supply, and conserves energy by automatically powering off when the computer powers off or sleeps. In the package, Sonnet includes a Thunderbolt cable to connect the expansion chassis to the user’s computer and a lock to secure the cable to the chassis. Like the other Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion chassis models, the Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition was designed and built by Sonnet in California.

The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition will be demonstrated at the 2015 NAB Show in booth SL10824, and is expected to be available in Summer 2015 at an MSRP of $699.

More information about Sonnet’s complete product family is available at

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About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt™ 2-to-PCIe® card expansion systems; pro media readers; RAID storage systems; and storage, network, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet’s Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For nearly 30 years Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac®, Windows®, and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at


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