Blackmagic, G-Tech, LaCie, Matrox, Promise, and Sonnet Bring Gear to the Show

Apple's late-February release of MacBook Pros with the new Thunderbolt interface built in really does seem to have caught storage vendors a bit off-guard. No Thunderbolt-enabled products were ready to ship when the new MBPs hit the street and, unless we missed something at NAB, they're still not available in production quantities. Still, you can expect to eventually see a ton of Thunderbolt goodness shipping, starting this summer.
Blackmagic Design showed the new UltraStudio 3D, a capture-and-playback device supporting dual-stream 3D, dual-link 3 GB SDI, and 12-bit architecture for $995. It ships in July.

G-Tech showed a tech demo of Thunderbolt-enabled desktop RAID, promising an official product launch “later this year” – in this context, that’s code for “fall.”

LaCie was showing its previously announced Thunderbolt-enabled Little Big Disk, with availability scheduled this summer.

Matrox showed a compact Thunderbolt adapter for its MXO2 devices that it will start shipping it in July for $299 (customers who order it along with a Matrox product will get it for $200). Thunderbolt-enabled MXO2 devices will ship in July starting at $649.

Promise Technologies is building Thunderbolt into its Pegasus R4 and R4 four-bay and six-bay RAID systems. They were announced for second-quarter shipment, and if they make it out in June, this could be one of the first Thunderbolt systems to escape from the lab in quantity.

Sonnet Technology showed Thunderbolt built into its Fusion F2TBR two-drive SSD system and its Fusion E400TBR4 and D800TBR5 desktop RAIDS. It also showed the Thunderbolt-connected Echo Express PCIe 2.0 Expansion Chassis – put whatever you want into that and plug it into your MacBook. Sonnet also plans adapters for converting FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet connections to Thunderbolt.

Finally – and this is placed last in the alphabetical list only because it really doesn’t exist yet – AJA showed a “technology preview” of something code-named “Phaser,” which seemed to be a Thunderbolt-enabled version of its Io Express interface. It will support 3G-, SD-, and HD-SDI as well as HDMI and will perform 10-bit conversions. For some reason, AJA didn’t provide pricing or a target shipping date. But unless Thunderbolt flops badly it seems like a sure bet this one will eventually come to market.