HighPoint currently manufactures two distinct NVMe AIC product lines: our Rocket 1000 series NVMe AICs, and our SSD7000 series NVMe RAID AICs. Though both product lines share the same base hardware architecture, each series is targeted towards a different set of application and operating environment.
HighPoint’s entire NVMe AIC product portfolio is powered by Broadcom’s industry leading PCIe switch technology, and HighPoint’s precision engineered cooling solutions. As such, all are capable of maximizing x16 lanes of upstream bandwidth, and deliver x4 lanes of dedicated downstream bandwidth to each device port.
So, which system is right for your application and platform – a Rocket series AIC or SSD series RAID AIC? This article compares and contrasts the two product families, and may help you narrow down your selection.
Common Feature Set: Hardware Architecture
HighPoint NVMe AICs hardware architecture incorporates Broadcom PCIe switch chipsets, with proven SerDes and SRIS technology, to optimize signal integrity, reduce latency and maximize transfer throughput. These ICs provide and abundance of electrical lanes: 48 for Gen4 and 32 for Gen3. This ensures bandwidth is never wasted; x4 lanes are always on tap for each device port. The highly flexible, performance-focused hardware architecture is unique to our NVMe solutions, and guarantees that maximum bandwidth is available to each SSD at all times. This combination enables Rocket series NVMe AICs to allocate a dedicated x16 lanes of Upstream bandwidth, and x4 lanes of downstream bandwidth to each NVMe device port, and deliver transfer throughput up to 28GB/s for PCIe Gen4 platforms, and up to 14GB/s for Gen3 systems – the maximum possible for a single-card application!
Industry’s Most Effective NVMe Cooling Systems
NVMe storage solutions can generate a considerable amount of waste heat under load, especially those that employ high-density dual-sided NAND, such as E1.S and M.2 22110 media. In an effort to protect this sensitive hardware, most SSDs will limit throughput when a temperature threshold has been crossed; a technique known as ”thermal throttling”. While thermal throttling is an ideal failsafe, it can severely bottleneck transfer performance.
In order to optimize NVMe storage performance, you will need to keep temperatures in check. HighPoint NVMe AICs were designed to mitigate the threat of thermal throttling to excel in high-stress computing environments.
Most of our NVMe AICs utilize robust, high-quality, low-decibel cooling fans designed to rapidly inject and condense cool air within the casing/heatsink, and expel waste heat from the ventilated PCIe bracket. The Ultra-Cooling fan system was engineered to perform optimally in demanding 24/7 workflows while generating minimal noise.
Our NVMe AIC products are equipped with one of four specialized cooling solutions.
Dual-Width Cooling Solution: SSD7749 NVMe RAID AICs employ a precision engineering NVMe cooling solution designed to accommodate high-density, dual-sided PCIe Gen4 E1.S and M.2 22110 media. Powerful, low-decibel fans draw cool air from within the system chassis, then condense and circulate it throughout the casing. Waste heat is drawn away from the SSD and critical componentry, then rapidly expelled via the ventilated bracket. The unique SSD socket design enables NVMe media to be arranged vertically, which ensures that the cool, condensed air reaches each side of the SSD.
Silent Running: This passive, completely silent cooling system is ideal for professional media workflows that demand a quiet, controlled work environment. This system combines a full-length anodized aluminum heatsink with high-efficiency thermal padding.
Low-Noise Active Cooling Solution: Employed by the majority of our PCIe Gen3 AICs, it ensures each hosted SSD consistently operates within the manufacturer’s recommended temperature thresholds, and is comprised of a full-length anodized heat sink, thermal padding and robust, low-noise cooling fans.
Hyper-Cooling Solution: Designed for PCIe Gen4 M.2 media , this system leverages an anodized aluminum heatsink with one or more low-decibel cooling fans and high-efficiency thermal padding. It was designed to rapidly transfers waste heat away from sensitive hardware and ensure M.2 media always perform optimally, even under maximum load.
What makes SSD7000 AICs different from Rocket 1000 AICs?
While HighPoint NVMe AICs share a common hardware architecture powered by our state-of-the-art PCB design, industry leading Broadcom PCIe switch technology, and precision engineered cooling systems, where they differ is in the details.
SSD Series NVMe RAID AICs
Rocket Series NVMe AICs
# of Ports/ Channels
2 to 8
4 or 8
NVMe Form Factor
E1.S / M.2 (2242/2260/2280/22110) / U.2, U.3
M.2 (2242/2260/2280/22110) / U.2, U.3
PCIe 4.0 / 3.0
PCIe 4.0 / 3.0
Port PCIe Length
Bus PCIe Length
x16 lanes / x8 lanes
x16 lanes / x8 lanes
Hot-Swap / Hot-Plug
0, 1, 10, Single Disk
Device drivers for Linux, macOS & Windows platforms
Natively supported by VMware, Linux, macOS, Windows, FreeBSD
SSD7000 series NVMe RAID AICs employ HighPoint’s industry proven NVMe RAID & storage technology, comprehensive management and monitoring suites, and storage solution packages designed to optimize performance, capacity, reliability and data security. They are highly customizable, and can be tailored for a wide range of high-performance platforms and applications. Due to these characteristics, SSD7000 series NVMe RAID AICs are ideal storage solutions for workflows that have specific transfer rate or capacity targets.
In contrast, Rocket 1000 series NVMe AICs were designed for use with any industry-standard server or workstation and workflows that employ SDS (Software Design Storage) suites. They are supported natively by all major operating system platforms and require no separate device driver or software package. As such, Rocket 1000 series AICs can be easily integrated into nearly any modern computing platform, and can be configured using the host operating systems standard toolset. For many customers, they can effectively serve as direct plug-and-play NVMe storage solutions.
Which NVMe AIC Solution is right for me?
It all boils down to your target application and the associated hardware/software environment.
The SSD7000 series’ comprehensive management and monitoring suite, and storage solutions are ideal for applications that have specific transfer-speed, capacity and data security requirements. If you are looking to build a custom storage solution, SSD7000 series RAID AICs are the ideal choice.
If you need to quickly install an NVMe storage solution into an existing industry standard server or workstation environment, and the target workflow was designed to employ SDS (software defined storage) technology or rely on the default OS storage toolset, the Rocket 1000 series native hardware support, and resulting ease of integration may be the perfect solution.