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EAU CLAIRE -- In the latest of a string of firsts for the Apple platform, Small Tree Communications
has announced a fiber-optic gigabit Ethernet adapter compatible with Mac OS X.
The combination of Intel PRO/1000 Server Adapters
with Small Tree's OS X drivers means Apple-based networks using Power Macs or Xserve G4 and G5 systems can now take advantage of optical fiber's greater range than regular wire.
"The Intel fiber optic adapters are extremely reliable and stable and are ideally suited for the Apple market where reliability and stability are well known," said Corky Seeber, Small Tree's president.
Minnesota-based Small Tree has previously developed standard multiport gigabit Ethernet cards and link-aggregation products for the Apple platform.
With its optical Ethernet product, the company is taking advantage of existing hardware. The adapters are available with one, two or four ports.
"The introduction of Small Tree's custom OS-X drivers for our adapters extends Intel PRO Network Connections support to a wide array of computer environments," said Tom Swinford, general manager of Intel's LAN access division.
The fiber-optic adapters are geared toward large-scale networking efforts or data centers. Without repeaters, signals sent throug multimode optical fiber are supposed to be able to reach 550 meters, and unlike electrical wire, optics neither produce nor suffer from electro-magnetic interference.