is announcing a slew of new products at this week’s Macworld Conference & Expo in New York, including pocket drives, a three-port FireWire card, FireWire-bus powered bridge interface, and FireWire bus-powered storage device.
One is the NanoGB, a small FireWire pocket drive available in capacities up to 40 GB. It utilizes the Oxford Semiconductor OXFW911 FireWire bridge in conjunction with proprietary WiebeTech technology to produce highest performance Mac OS X transfer rates, James Wiebe, president of WiebeTech, told MacCentral. He said they had measured burst transfer rates of 30+ MB per second utilizing high speed 2.5-inch notebook drive mechanisms.
The NanoGB case is 100 percent aluminum and measures only 0.47 by 2.92 in by 5.60 inches. It’s self-powered off of your Mac’s FireWire bus so there’s no power jack or power switch. The NanoGB utilizes a full size six pin FireWire port, so that standard FireWire cables can always be used. Four versions will be available Aug. 31 in the following configurations:
20 GB/4200 RPM, US$217.95;
30 GB/4200 RPM, $259.95;
40 GB/4200 RPM, $299.95;
40 GB/5400 RPM, $419.95.
The NanoGB will also be available in a USB version: the NanoGB-USB, a USB 2.0.model that’s backwards compatible with USB 1.1. It operates off of USB bus power or from a keyboard pass through power adapter, and also has a +5V DC power jack. It will be available Aug. 31 in the following models:
20 GB/4200 RPM, $199.95 ;
30 GB/4200 RPM, $239.95;
40 GB/4200 RPM, $279.95.
WiebeTech also introduced FireWire Host, a $39.95, three-port FireWire card featuring two external and one internal FireWire port that lets you add new or additional FireWire ports to your Mac. FireWire Host is built using a Texas Instruments FireWire host controller and works with any 1394-1995 or 1394a device. It supports transfer rates to 400mb per second and is compatible with Mac OS 9.1-9.2, and Mac OS X.
FireWire Host has two external FireWire ports and one internal port. This allows use of FireWire devices within the computer. It’s available now.
Due later this month is the $159.95 Super DriveDock, a FireWire-bus powered bridge interface attachable to any 3.5-inch IDE drive.
“This product is significant because it is capable of powering full size 3.5-inch drives from the FireWire bus,” said Wiebe. “It accomplishes this feat using our PowerBridge technology that we have developed. In addition, Super DriveDock occupies only 3.58 cubic inches making it a very small FireWire bridge interface. The PowerBridge circuitry contained within it eliminates the need for an external wall transformer in many cases.”
It uses the industry standard Oxford Semiconductor OXFW911 FireWire bridge for best performance, he added. The Super DriveDock takes its operating power from the FireWire bus using PowerBridge technology, but you can also purchase an optional AC adapter. (Successful operation of Super DriveDock in bus power mode requires that the host to which it is attached provide power capable of spinning up the attached IDE drive.)
It supports most current production 5400RPM or 7200RPM 3.5-inch IDE drives with capacities of 160 GB or less. The Super DriveDock is small, measuring only 2.42 by 1.48 by 1 inches. The enclosure is constructed of anodized aluminum. It’s compatible with Mac OS 9.1/9.2 and Mac OS X.
Finally, the UltraGB, a FireWire bus-powered storage device utilizing 3.5-inch drives, is coming Sept.30. It’s a desktop device that operates without external wall transformers.
UItraGB uses the industry standard Oxford Semiconductor OXFW911 FireWire bridge for best performance, Wiebe said. The proprietary WiebeTech OXFW911 FireWire bridge architecture found within UltraGB is identical to that of the original FireWire DriveDock, which was independently tested against competitive FireWire bridge interfaces and shown to be the fastest Mac OS X FireWire bridge technology available, he added.
Measuring 7.5 by 4.2 and 1.3 inches, the UltraGB is world’s smallest desktop drive, Wiebe said. Due to a full metal enclose, which dissipates heat more readily than plastic enclosures, as well as its ultra low power design, and its very high efficiency WiebeTech PowerBridge circuitry, it has no fan, he added. Operation of UltraGB requires that the host to which it’s attached provide power capable of spinning up the attached IDE drive.
UltraGB is plug and play under most popular operating systems, including — you guessed it — Mac OS 9.1-9.2 and Mac OS X. It will be available in 40 GB ($239.95), 60 GB ($249.95), and 80 GB ($269.95) flavors.