LaCie is using Macworld Expo in San Francisco to launch its TX 12000 Ultra 160 RAID Tower system and demonstrate its 9.4GB DVD-RAM drive for desktop-video production.

The TX 12000 is a storage solution with 2ms average access-time. It can be attached to a host with a Ultra-160 SCSI controller card. It delivers the performance needed for network-attached storage, and can be applied in e-commerce databases, data warehousing, imaging systems and ISPs.

The tower can support an expansion which will run using the tower's inbuilt RAID controller. This expansion unit can add 12 hot-pluggable disk-drive modules to the array. This allows the RAID system to be scaled from three to 24 drives, with capacities of 18GB, 36GB or 78GB each, which gives a combined capacity of 1.7TB.

The controller supports five RAID configurations that can speed-up desktop video-editing and the transfer of large graphics-files, as well as recover data that would otherwise be lost in a failed drive.

The array can be operated and set-up via a LCD display at the back of the device and a movable LCD-panel at the front of the drive can be opened to view the drives.

All drives, both power-supplies and the six fans are hot-swappable. The TX 12000 is enclosed in a dark-blue case and the modules have easy-to-grab handles. UK pricing has not yet been released.

LaCie is also shipping a FireWire 9.4GB DVD-RAM (illustrated), with a transfer rate of up to 10.5Mbps and a 120ms average seek-time. The drive is bundled with cables and formatting software, and costs £629.