updated 08:15 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2011
Converts FW800 into concurrent 800 and 400 ports
Long-time Mac users who have Firewire 400 (aka 1394a or i.Link) devices and want to attach them to newer Macs without tying up the sole Firewire 800 port found on most models can now turn to the Yin-Yang adapter from Sonnet -- dubbed a Firewire "mini-hub" -- that splits a Mac's FW800 port into one FW800 port and one FW400 port, supporting concurrent data transfer.
Most Firewire devices don't need a hub, as many of them have an extra port to allow "daisy chaining" of peripherals, but it can get complicated when mixing and matching FW400 and 800 devices, as well as slow down the 800-speed devices to match the 400mb speed of the older items. By separating the channels, FW800 devices will communicate at their top speed, even in FW400 devices are plugged into the other port.
The hub itself is bus-powered and can support one bus-powered device on either port. The hub measures 2x1.5x0.6 inches -- about the size of a matchbox -- and sports a three-inch FW800 connector to the host computer. It requires no drivers and works with all Firewire peripherals.
The Ying-Yang hub is available now for $70.