In my previous posts I looked at how OEMS like HP were using Thunderbolt 3 and how device manufactures where creating new storage solutions via the high speed connection. In this post I am going to look at the other category of OEMS showing of Thunderbolt 3 devices, these are manufactures using the power of Thunderbolt 3 to add functionality to laptops and desktops.


ATTO produce a new Thunderbolt 3 based 32GB fibre channel expansion unit so laptops can directly connect to fibre channel storage systems, in the pre-Thunderbolt 3 days this would have been impossible with a laptop as fibre channel needs a PCIe card on the PC. This Thunderbolt 3 unit enables 4k video editing directly on a laptop from a fibre channel storage device. They also have a 40GB Ethernet adapter for Thunderbolt 3 so any Thunderbolt 3 enabled device can access networks at 40Gb rates. The driver is included in Windows and so you just plug the adapter in and go.

Many recent released Ultrabooks tend to only come with one or two Thunderbolt 3 ports so there are no DVD drives, or SD card readers or ways to add PCIe cards to a device. One of the companies I met with a IBC was Sonnet who have a new Thunderbolt 3 expansion unit. It connects via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable and has a DVD / Blu-ray drive, internal hard drive, 4 x USB 3 ports, 2 x eSata ports , Firewire port, audio input and output ports, headphone jack and digital audio (TOSLINK) connector. So in other words a complete expansion unit for a laptop that only needs a single cable. In this video Sonnet talk about the expansion unit:

As well as expanding the use of a laptop I also saw at IBC a Thunderbolt Mac Pro expansion tower that you slot the Mac into to give you the extra connectivity you need:

Sometimes you have a very specific need and device manufactures come up with niche products. mLogic had on show at IBC a Thunderbolt 3 LTO drive for backing up large amounts of data.

Most Thunderbolt cables run to a maximum length of 3 Metres but what if you want a much longer run? Corning have a cable that uses fibre optics to enable up to 60 Metres cable lengths so you are not restricted to the standard cable length. Plus their cables are extremely durable being able to bend and folder them. Here Corning explain about the cables:

My final video from IBC is with G-Technology which makes Mac Pro expansion units and storage devices:

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