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Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3-to-PCI Express® Card Expansion Systems for Mac and Windows

IRVINE, Calif. — Jan. 12, 2016 — Sonnet Technologies today officially launched its first Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe® card expansion systems, the Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Edition and the Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 3 Edition. Like the other members of the award-winning Echo Express family, the SEL and SE I enable the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express® (PCIe) cards with computers equipped with Thunderbolt ports. Both the SEL and SE I are compact and lightweight single-slot Thunderbolt 3 expansion systems, differing only in size, that are ideal for use in situations in which users only need to connect a single PCIe card. With the new interface, both systems enable users of computers equipped with 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, such as the new MacBook Pro®, to take advantage of Thunderbolt 3 s 2,750 MB/s of PCI Express bandwidth to support the most demanding, highest performance adapter cards. Sonnet is also making available Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for existing Thunderbolt 2 Echo Express SEL and SE I expansion systems, enabling those models with all the capabilities of the new Thunderbolt 3 Editions.

We are delighted to begin shipping the Echo Express SEL and SE I, the first Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion chassis to ship with both macOS and Windows® compatibility, said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies.   We are also proud to be delivering on our promise of upgradability by offering our customers a Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for their current Thunderbolt 2-based Echo Express SEL and SE I expansion chassis.

The Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 3 Edition weighs just 2.6 pounds and measures only 5.6 inches wide by 8.6 inches deep by 3.5 inches tall, accommodating one-half length (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height, single-width PCIe 3.0 card with additional mounting space for a daughter card. With its Thunderbolt 3 interface, the SE I delivers ample bandwidth for the majority of Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards including pro video capture, digital audio interface, 6Gb/s or 12Gb/s SAS or SATA host bus adapters, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards.

The Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Edition is the smallest and quietest Thunderbolt 3 chassis yet, measuring 4 inches wide by 8.25 inches long by 2.8 inches tall and weighing just 1.75 pounds. The SEL houses one low-profile, single-width PCIe 3.0 card, including the majority of the most popular Thunderbolt-compatible 16Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel, 40 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 6Gb/s or 12Gb/s SAS and SATA host bus adapters, RAID controller cards, and even low-profile pro video capture cards like the BlueFish 444 Epoch 4K Neutron. 

The Echo Express SE I and Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Editions feature dual 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports that support the daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices. Both models support backward compatibility for 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2- and 10Gbps Thunderbolt-equipped devices when connected via the Apple® Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter. As an added benefit, the second Thunderbolt 3 port also supports a variety of displays and a multitude of USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 devices when connected with the proper cable, and also fully support the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables streaming to one 4K display at 120Hz, or two 4K displays at 60Hz, or one 5K display at 60Hz. 

Both the Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 3 Edition and the Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Edition are housed in rugged aluminum enclosures and each features an ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled fan that automatically speeds up and slows down as necessary to cool the installed card quietly and efficiently. Each Echo Express Thunderbolt 3 Edition chassis also includes a 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable as well as Sonnet s exclusive ThunderLok” 3 Thunderbolt Connector Retainer Clip to secure the cable to the chassis and prevent accidental cable disconnects.

Like the other models in the Echo Express family, the Thunderbolt 3 Editions of the Echo Express SE I and Echo Express SEL were designed, engineered, and built by Sonnet Technologies in California. The list of compatible PCIe cards is available on Sonnet s website, and is continually expanding as more cards are tested and certified.

The Echo Express SEL Thunderbolt 3 Edition (part number ECHO-EXP-SEL-T3) and the Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 3 Edition (part number ECHO-EXP-SE1-T3) will begin shipping on Jan. 23, 2017, and each will have an MSRP of $269. More information on these products is available at: 
Echo Express SEL
Echo Express SE I 

The Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade cards (part number BRD-UPGRTB3-SEL and BRD-UPGRTB3-SE1) will begin shipping on Jan. 23, 2017, at an MSRP of $149. 

More information on Sonnet and its other products is available at

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About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt”-to-PCIe® card expansion systems; pro media readers; and storage, network, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet s Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For 30 years Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac®, Windows®, and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Image Caption: Sonnet Technologies Echo Express SE I and SEL Thunderbolt-to-PCIe Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Systems

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