LaCie has delivered on its promise to show FireWire 800 (1394b) solutions at Macworld Expo.

The move reflects Apple's introduction of the standard in its Macs, initially in the new 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks announced Tuesday.

The company used the event to launch its new range of FireWire 800 Hard Drives. These are encased in the company's d2 chassis and are available in sizes between 200-500GB. The new drives carry two FireWire 800 ports, so devices can be daisy-chained together. The company is also making a rack-mount available which can hold a number of such drives.

Speed boost Backwards-compatible, FireWire 800 offers twice the data transmission speed (800Mbps) of FireWire. Developers say FireWire 800 speeds can increase to 1.6Gbps. The new evolution of Apple's award-winning standard also supports longer distances between FireWire-enabled devices.

LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch said: "With greater speed, bandwidth and distance capabilities, this generation of FireWire is bound to become the interface of choice for digital content creators."

Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations Ron Okamoto said: "FireWire launched the era of desktop digital-video editing by enabling near broadcast-quality video authoring at low consumer price points."

"Oxford Semiconductor's 922 bridge chip, an S800 PHY from Texas Instruments, and LaCie's crack engineering team provide users with the fastest FireWire hard-disk drive available," said Dominique Battelier, LaCie's director of product development.

The products will ship in February 2003. Though UK prices haven't yet been announced, US prices are currently: 200GB 7,200rpm with 8MB cache, $479; 250GB 5,400rpm with 2MB cache, $539; 400GB LaCie Big Disk, $879; 500GB LaCie Big Disk, $999.

The drives ship with a one-year warranty, three cables (USB 2.0, 6-pin FireWire-to-FireWire 800, and FireWire 800-to-FireWire 800), and necessary software for Macintosh and Windows computers. Software includes: Silverlining Pro (Mac OS9) and SilverKeeper easy backup for Mac OS 9 and OS X. LaCie d2 drives are bootable for Macintosh computers using OS 9 and OS X. The drives use Bi-lingual FireWire 800 connectors, meaning they can also be plugged in and work correctly with existing USB 2.0 ports.