today announced a line of storage products that support both FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces. The company plans to officially introduce the products at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco next month, but the first product in the new line is available starting December 17.
If long time Mac users recognize the “Wiebe” in “WiebeTech,” it’s because it’s the surname of company founder James Wiebe, who was also a co-founder and CEO of Macintosh CPU upgrade maker Newer Technology. Wiebe’s re-entry into the Macintosh peripherals market has even garnered an endorsement from non other than Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak.
“WiebeTech has clearly identified the requirements of the external storage marketplace,” said Wozniak. “The product line up does not compromise connectivity, performance, design or size in any respect. I am pleased to see Mr. Wiebe back in an environment of innovation.”
James Wiebe noted that the storage market is demanding solutions to backup documents, offload personal data, photos and other content to external hardware. “WiebeTech is committed to providing products that are smaller, faster and offering more connectivity options than anything currently on the market,” said Wiebe.
Initially comprised of three different products, the WiebeTech line includes desktop and portable storage solutions. The first product, the DesktopGB, will be available through WiebeTech’s Web site beginning on December 17.
The DesktopGB includes 40, 60 and 80GB capacity models. About 9-inches long and 5 1/2-inches wide, the DesktopGB can stand vertically on a desk with an included foot to occupy about 2 1/4-inches of width. The system includes two pass -through FireWire connectors and a USB 2.0 interface, which is downwardly compatible with USB 1.1 as well. The DesktopGB uses Oxford Semiconductor’s popular Oxford 911 FireWire bridge chipset and the Cypress/ISD 300 chipset for USB connectivity. WiebeTech also sells the DesktopGB in an empty configuration, if you have a drive you’d like to convert to FireWire. Prices start at US$159.95 for the bare configuration, up to $319.95 for the 80GB model.
Available in January will be the MicroGB, a portable drive that features FireWire and USB 2.0. The diminutive drive is expandable to 60GB and is billed by WiebeTech as being the world’s smallest with that feature set.
Also coming in January will be the DriveDock. It enables any standard 3.5-inch hard drive to interface with a USB-equipped PC or Mac. The device incorporates a bridge interface and power control for the drive. WiebeTech noted than when a 3.5-inch drive is equipped with the DriveDock, the total apparatus occupies about 40 cubic inches, compared to 160 cubic inches for some other solutions.
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