FirmTek Announces Broad Support of Serial ATA Port Multiplication at Macworld Expo

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New controllers and a full-featured new enclosure join products already carrying support for new SATA II specifications.

Booth #S2645 -- FirmTek, LLC, a pioneer and leader in Serial ATA (SATA) storage solutions for the Macintosh platform, has announced several new products and capabilities supporting Port Multiplication for next-generation SATA and RAID applications. Announced at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, these breakthrough solutions provide high-performance Serial ATA connections for up to 20 drives on as few as four eSATA ports. With the latest drives providing transfer rates as high as 3 gigabits per second, potential aggregate speeds beyond 700 megabytes per second are now possible. This remarkable speed and capacity allows streaming of multiple uncompressed high definition video streams, and can support unprecedented applications in video production, photography, and archiving, as well as other activities involving large media or image files. In addition, FirmTek's established hot-swap compatibility makes it easy for users to move entire drives and arrays between any FirmTek-equipped systems, or into secure storage, in seconds.

"FirmTek is entirely dedicated to SATA solutions, and we are excited to bring this latest capability to so many Mac users at one event," says Chi Kim Stanford, VP of Business Development for FirmTek. "We have been hard at work finalizing solutions that deliver the most useful sets of benefits for our customers on many different platforms, and we're pleased with the results, and expect that our users will be too."

Bootable Port Multiplication RAID on PCI-X G5s

The SeriTek/2SE4 is compatible with both PCI-X and PCI bus architecture systems, and optimal performance will be delivered on PCI-X systems like Apple's Macintosh. Further, it is the only SATA controller card that offers full boot capability, allowing the fastest RAID configurations to include system operations. Four hot-swappable external SATA II ports enable individual drives or RAID arrays via built-in OS RAID 0/1 software. See FirmTek's separate announcement of the SeriTek/2SE4 for full details.

Port Multiplication RAID for Late-Model G5s and Mac Pro

The SeriTek/2ME4-E is compatible with PCIe (PCI-Express) bus architecture systems, including the Dual- and Quad-Core G5 Macintosh and the new Mac Pro. It is the only controller that allows volumes to boot on a Dual- or Quad-Core G5s, delivering optimal performance during all system operations. While not bootable on Intel-based Mac Pros at this time, FirmTek continues to seek a solution. Four hot-swappable external SATA II ports enable individual drives or RAID arrays via built-in OS RAID 0/1 software. See FirmTek's separate announcement of the SeriTek/2ME4-E for complete details.

New Enclosure Supports Port Multiplication With Many New Features

The SeriTek/5PM has several new enhancements beyond its full support of Port Multiplication. Made of attractive aluminum, it offers several other design elements to deliver security and reliability. It features a front-panel power switch that carries a multi-second delay to prevent accidental power-down, a feature requested by many users. It has a unique temperature management system featuring two ultra-quiet fans that have three user-selectable speeds, a fault LED and a mutable temperature and fan failure alarm. While optimized for use with FirmTek controllers, the SeriTek/5PM will work with any controller that follows the eSATA II Port Multiplication design specification. FirmTek employs a server-class power supply as standard equipment. For more information, see FirmTek's separate release on the SeriTek/5PM.

Port Multiplication Support also Announced for Earlier FirmTek Controllers

FirmTek has also announced that two controllers already shipping, the SeriTek/2SM2-E for MacBook Pro models, and the SeriTek/2SE2-E for Dual-Core G5 models, already support Port Multiplication on enclosures like the SeriTek/5PM. Users need only connect these cards to compatible enclosures to enjoy the benefits of Port Multiplication.

About FirmTek

Headquartered in Silicon Valley and founded by former Apple engineers, FirmTek is a leading hardware and firmware research and development company focusing on Macintosh storage technologies. The company takes pride in developing the most reliable and most compatible high performance enhancement solutions offered through FirmTek's OEM and worldwide distribution channels. For information on how FirmTek helps users deploy, and organizations develop, advanced interface solutions, visit FirmTek's website at

SeriTek and FirmTek are trademarks of FirmTek, LLC. Macintosh, PowerMac and Mac Pro and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.


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