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FirmTek Announces Solutions for Internal and External Personal RAID Storage
Fast Enough for Uncompressed HD Video

The SeriTek/1V4 and SeriTek/1VE4 PCI-X adapters each allow up to four Serial ATA drives
to be striped for unprecedented performance

San Francisco, California (January 11, 2004) -- FirmTek, LLC, the world's leading developer of ATA host adapter solutions for Apple's Macintosh, announced today at Macworld Expo their latest Serial ATA host adapters. The SeriTek/1V4 and SeriTek/1VE4 adapters utilize PCI-X interface technology which offer superior performance in Power Mac G5 computers while retaining compatibility in standard PCI slots. Each delivers Serial ATA's 1.5Gbits/sec performance to as many as four drives simultaneously, allowing for storage speeds among the fastest in desktop computing. When today's fastest Serial ATA drives are connected to these high-performance cards, and then striped with OS X's disk utility software, the resulting array can handle live, uncompressed HD video.

The SeriTek/1VE4 adapter offers four external Serial ATA ports that are independently controlled, fully shielded and completely hot-swappable. This design allows for the quick connection of drives to virtually any PCI-based Macintosh for any number of applications, and the hot-swap feature means that multiple users or applications can share the same machine without rebooting between projects. Even a fully operational RAID volume can be unmounted, disconnected, and replaced with another volume without powering the Macintosh down, a FirmTek exclusive feature. This can be especially useful in applications where large video files are being created.

This solution employs the same FirmTek quality as the 1VE4, but utilizes internal connections for RAID arrays contained entirely inside the Macintosh. It has the same performance without employing hot-swap capability.

With legacy G4 platforms, including most of the "Sawtooth" varieties of Power Macintosh, both of the new SeriTek solutions are limited by bus speed more than the processor speed, which results in impressive performance. While the original Sawtooth machines will often outperform 130MB/sec throughput, the later Digital Audio, Quicksilver and MDD systems deliver RAID performance nearly equivalent to the latest G5 towers. Given these older systems' greater internal storage capacities, this will be important for many video professionals.

"2004 saw several firsts from FirmTek with external Serial ATA and hot-swap capabilities. Now we're kicking off 2005 with a bang with these latest solutions," said Chi Kim Stanford, Vice President of Business Development for FirmTek. "While many of the world's best-selling ATA solutions for the Mac use FirmTek designs, we are proud that the SeriTek/1VE4 and 1V4 are making their debut with a FirmTek label. The Macintosh has been widely acclaimed as a professional video development tool, and with this high-speed storage solution the promise is now complete."

The SeriTek/1VE4 and SeriTek/1V4 offer the key benefits of speed and capacity with remarkable flexibility and ease of service. With drives now surpassing 500GB each, there are few applications with requirements too extreme for the new SeriTek models. When formatted and controlled by Mac OS X's RAID software, the highest performance drives support the storage of uncompressed high-definition streaming video, which was not easily accomplished on desktop systems before the arrival of Serial ATA. The easy and accessible cabling of Serial ATA drives also makes installing and servicing them a snap when compared with their predecessors.

SeriTek/1VE4 and SeriTek/1V4 Key Features and Benefits

  • Latest 133MHz PCI-X interface technology
  • Compatible with all PCI-based Power Macintosh computers
  • Hot-swaps both stand-alone drives and drives within a RAID volume (1VE4 only)
  • Self-contained booting functionality supports direct booting from attached drives
  • Four independently controlled Serial ATA ports
  • Boosts overall system performance with data transfer rates of up to 150MBytes/sec or 1.5Gbits/sec per port
  • "Plug and Play" drivers built-in for Macintosh
  • Supports Mac OS 8, OS 9, and OS X version 10.1.5 or later
  • Provides performance and protection: Supports native OS X RAID 0/1; OS 9 RAID (with third party software)
  • User-upgradeable firmware for easy updates
  • Large LBA support for drives larger than 137GB
  • Includes two "works with Macintosh" thin and flexible SATA cables to allow easy, optimal placement of devices (1V4 only)
  • Ideal for multimedia-intensive applications: audio/video capture and editing, graphics manipulation and high-end digital publishing
  • Delivers top performance for all Power Macintosh "Sawtooth" G4, and all G5, computers

Pricing and Availability

FirmTek's SeriTek/1V4 Serial ATA host adapter for the Macintosh will ship in late January 2005 for the estimated retail price of USD $119.95 (SATA-1V4).

FirmTek's SeriTek/1VE4 Serial ATA host adapter will ship in late February 2005, with an estimated retail price of USD $139.95 (SATA-1VE4).

About FirmTek

Headquartered in Silicon Valley and founded in 1998 by former Apple engineers, FirmTek is the leading hardware and firmware research and development company focusing on Macintosh ATA storage technologies. The company takes pride in developing the most reliable and compatible high performance enhancement solutions, offered through FirmTek's OEM partners and worldwide distribution channels. For information regarding FirmTek's products and operations, visit FirmTek's website at www.firmtek.com.

FirmTek, UltraTek, AV-Tek, SeriTek names and logotypes are trademarks of FirmTek, LLC. Apple, Macintosh, Power Macintosh, Mac OS 8.X, OS 9.X, OS X, and the Mac logo are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Incorporated.