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Promise releases a Thunderbolt to fibre channel adaptor for Macs

Laptops finally get fibre channel speed
Tue Sep 06 2011, 14:54

STORAGE VENDOR Promise has released a fibre channel to Thunderbolt adaptor.

thunderbolt-adaptorPromise's SANLink allows machines that have Thunderbolt sockets to connect to storage area network (SAN) servers that have fibre channel connectivity. Intel's Thunderbolt bus made its debut with Apple's Macbook Pro and offers bandwidth that can surpass fibre channel.

Promise is pitching the SANLink at media types who have to transfer gigabytes of raw video data. The SANLink supports 1, 2 or 4Gbits/s, with two Thunderbolt links provided and the ability to daisy chain six Thunderbolt peripherals.

Alice Chang, CMO of Promise Technology said, "Now portables and desktops with Thunderbolt Technology will be able to connect to the SAN at native Fibre Chanel speeds simplifying creative professionals' workflows."

Promise's SANLink works with Apple's Mac OS X and it means users don't have to use a desktop in order to access a fibre channel SAN.

Apple and Intel worked on the design of Thunderbolt to make it a general purpose high bandwidth interface. The interface can in theory scale up to 100Gbits/s however at present it tops out at 20Mbits/s.

At present devices that use the Thunderbolt bus are relatively scarce, however with Apple pushing the standard on its devices and Intel's backing for the rest of the PC market, it's likely that Thunderbolt will do what USB started, finish off Firewire for good.

Promise said its SANLink adaptor will be available through Apple's online store and will cost about £500. µ


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