is now equipping its external FireWire hard drives with a new FireWire controller that the company said will provide double the data throughput performance of previous FireWire drives.
Available in 20GB, 40GB, 60GB and 75GB capacities, the 7200-rpm drives stream data to the computer at a sustained transfer rate of 35MB/s and provide burst performance to 50MB/s. Scott Phillips, LaCie president, said that, depending upon capacity, the 3.5-inch drives can store more than five hours of DV video, over 100 CD-Audio images, and more than a mile-high stack of text documents.
“The demand for high-capacity moveable hard drive storage has been overwhelming,” he said in a statement. “Until now the biggest problem has been the performance bottleneck at the IDE drive and 1394 interface. Users are aware of the quality of digital video and audio that can be edited and quickly transported with FireWire drives. With our new two-chip, single firmware interface design we’ve virtually eliminated the performance barrier by producing drives that can consistently deliver 35MB/s sustained data throughput to the computer.”
Phillips said the drives were twice as fast as those of the first-generation. Fully ATA 100-compliant, LaCie’s new FireWire to IDE bridge supports the Ultra DMA mode 5. By enhancing the external drives with a new built-in FireWire controller, LaCie provides users with a fast and efficient means of exchanging large files such as high-resolution photos and digital videos with no risk of data loss, Phillips said. The new FireWire controller is a 400 Mbps interface that is based on a 1394 to IDE bridge dual chipset.
The suggested retail prices for the LaCie FireWire hard drives are US$229 for the 20GB model, $279 for the 40GB model, $329 for the 60GB model, and $429 for the 75GB model. LaCie’s 40GB and 60GB drives are also available from the