today announced that its FireWire KeyChain device is available in preconfigured capacities. The diminutive device stores data on CompactFlash cards.
Originally released as a user-configurable module without any storage for US$99.95, the FireWire KeyChain is now available in capacities from 32MB to 1GB. Costs range from $119.95 to $399.95 depending on capacity. The original user-configurable module is still available, as well.
The FireWire KeyChain can utilize either CompactFlash media or IBM MicroDrives to provide high-speed, portable storage. The system utilizes an Oxford Semiconductor 911 FireWire bridge chip to provide data transfer speeds of up to 5MB per second, according to WiebeTech.
Various keychain-style solid state storage systems have been promoted, but most are dependent on the slower USB 1.1 interface. As the name implies, the FireWire KeyChain uses the higher speed IEEE 1394 interface, or FireWire, standard now on all shipping Macs.
WiebeTech CEO James Wiebe also noted that the FireWire KeyChain can be configured as a Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X boot device, making it a handy gadget for system managers or other folks who might need a portable and durable emergency boot disk. Wiebe said that it’s also less expensive than USB devices at higher capacities.