NAB 2015: JMR Lightning Thunderbolt 2 to PCIe Expansion


NAB 2015 sees JMR raise the curtain on the new Lightning products, the latest generation of the company’s Thunderbolt 2 storage and expansion options. Consisting of ten models, the Lightning line recognizes the role of Mac computers in the current post-production climate, making hardware expansion possible by converting Thunderbolt to PCIe. This makes the products a natural choice for users who want to add PCIe peripherals, but use Thunderbolt-only computers such as the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro. Whether you want to attach a RED ROCKET card or other GPU, or ingest footage using AJA Kona cards, JMR’s Lightning products let you do this. And of course, Lightning products are expandable by daisy-chaining them with additional Thunderbolt devices.

All of the ten Lightning products are based on three JMR-developed Thunderbolt to PCIe adapter boards, which provide one, two, or four x8 PCIe slots. For connecting just one or two PCIe cards, small desktop options are available, with the dual slot model equipped with an internal PCIe switch. If you need more PCIe slots, then there are four slot models that have two Thunderbolt 2 I/O ports, with internal PCIe switches provides for both connections.

For external storage, JMR offers a Thunderbolt 2 to RAID adapter, which populates its single PCIe x8 slot with a 6 GB/s SAS RAID controller connected to an 8-drive internal RAID system. The RAID uses hot-swappable 2.5" solid-state or spinning disk drives. Alternatively, there are options that add either one or three additional PCIe expansion slots, with the latter featuring two Thunderbolt daisy-chain ports and uses the multiple bus architecture of the Mac Pro, providing two Thunderbolt connections to the host. All of these options are available in a standard desktop configuration or a rackmount configuration that can slot into JMR’s MacPRO bracket for easy installation.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Lightning Quad Tower, which has a slot for directly inserting a Mac Pro computer. It features four x8 PCIe slots, 8-drive RAID system with built-in controller, dual Thunderbolt 2 bus architecture, and dual daisy-chain ports. With the Mac Pro installed in the tower, internal connections relocate the USB, Ethernet, and audio ports of the computer to the front of the tower, as well as the power On/Off switch. Internal cables bring the computer’s Thunderbolt ports to the rear panel and also connect the Mac Pro directly to the PCIe adapter using two Thunderbolt connections. The daisy-chain ports are also available on the rear panel. For rack-mounted installations, an adapter kit is available that converts the tower into a 4U rack unit.

If you’re a user of a Thunderbolt 2-equipped computer, such as the Mac Pro, and are looking to expand your hardware, add RAID storage, or both, then JMR’s new Lighting products may be just what you’re looking for. All Lightning models are finished in a glossy black powder coat to match the styling of Apple’s Mac Pro series, and are designed, developed, and manufactured in California, USA.

Please check back for pricing and availability.

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