Sonnet Technologies has released Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for existing Thunderbolt 2 Echo Express SE II, III-D, and III-R expansion systems, giving those models greater bandwidth for users' installed PCIe cards, and providing Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to allow use with the latest MacBook Pros and iMacs.
Sonnet's Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards feature dual 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports that support the daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices. They 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 fully supports the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol, which enables streaming to one 4K display at 120Hz, two 4K displays at 60Hz, or one 5K display at 60Hz.
Sonnet's Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards are simple to install, merely requiring the user to remove the existing Thunderbolt 2 interface card and plug in its replacement, according to Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. There are no software updates to install to support the upgraded chassis.
Thunderbolt 3 upgrade cards for the Echo Express SE II and the Echo Express III-D or III-R (part number BRD-UPGRTB3-E3) are available now. Each has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $149.