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What is an E1.S RAID Controller

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

HighPoint has been a driving force behind the NVMe storage revolution since the introduction of our groundbreaking SSD7101A-1 M.2 RAID controller, back in 2017.

We now manufacture the industry’s most diverse selection of NVMe RAID storage and connectivity solutions. Our SSD series PCIe controller cards are available with 2 to 8 independent NVMe device ports, deliver dedicated x16 lanes of host bandwidth for PCIe Gen4 and Gen3 applications, and are available for every form factor and use case imaginable. We’ve recently introduced a new line of E1.S solutions, starting with the launch of the revolutionary SSD7749E.


E1.S? How does this new tech compare to M.2 or U.2?


By now, most of you should be familiar with M.2 and U.2/U.2 NVMe technology and their corresponding SSD form factors. NVMe based storage devices and HBA/controller solutions are now so widespread, that they can claim “default” status for most new computing platforms. However, each of these interfaces has its ups and downs, and both are best suited for a relatively narrow set of target applications.


M.2 SSDs are compact, affordable, easy to integrate and deliver blazing fast random I/O transfers. As such, they are commonly employed as boot-drives for higher-end PCs and as work-space for performance hungry software applications such as media post production, 3D-design and rendering, and industrial workflows. However, as “client” media, the majority of M.2 SSDs suitable for this type of application are capped at 4TB in size, can dramatically bottleneck performance as available capacity drops, were not designed for sustained 24/7 operation, and tend to have relatively short lifespans when compared to other classes of NVMe media.


U.2/U.3 SSDs were designed for use with High-End Workstations, AI Platforms, Data Centers and Hyperscale servers. U.2/U.3 media deliver an excellent blend of random and sustained read/write performance, are available with 30TB of capacity, utilize the industry standard 2.5” driver form factor, and offer enterprise grade serviceability and reliability via features such as hot-swap and power-loss-protection (PLP). However, U.2/U.3 media is costly, and the 2.5” form factor is ill suited for the vast majority of Edge and Industrial computing platforms, which tend to require compact and rugged storage solutions.


E1.S, in contrast, is a relatively new entry in the established NVMe technology ecosystem. Although the interface and associated form-factors first emerged several years ago, it wasn’t until the second half of 2022 when the leading NVMe vendors started rolling out official E1.S product lines. E1.S aims to be the best of both worlds; offer the key advantages of the most common NVMe archetypes; M.2 and U.2, with none of the drawbacks.


E1.S – The best of Both Worlds

 

E1.S technology was envisioned to deliver the key features of both M.2 and U.2; namely, compact form factor, balanced performance, and enterprise reliability, all available at a reasonable price point.

Often classified as “DC” (datacenter) class storage media, E1.S drives utilize a compact 22110 M.2-like form factor but have performance characteristics much closer to U.2/U.3 media, and do not experience the performance bottlenecks associated with client M.2 SSDs, such as speed degradation during sustained write transfers. Today’s largest E1.S SSDs are 8TB in size, but this is not a limitation of the form factor itself – larger drives will become available as more E1.S solutions are deployed.

E1.S SSDs also feature long-life spans, which like U.2/U.3 media, is measured in DWPD (disk writes per day).

HighPoint’s revolutionary SSD7749E E1.S NVMe RAID HBA was designed to take full advantage of this feature set, and can be easily integrated into any platform that can support a double-wide PCIe controller. In fact, no other E1.S-based storage solution comes close.

Ideal for Data-Intensive, write-heavy applications, the SSD7749E was designed for workflows that demand a compact, easily integrated high-density RAID storage solution with blistering PCIe Gen4 x16 performance and enterprise class 24/7 reliability. It can directly host up to eight 9.5mm E1.S SSDs at speeds up to 28,000MB/s, yet is no larger than a modern PCIe graphics adapter, and can be easily integrated into industry-standard computing platforms with a free PCIe 4.0 x16 slot.

 




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However, U.2/U.3 media is costly, and the 2.5” form factor is ill suited for the vast majority of Edge and Industrial computing platforms, which tend to require compact and rugged storage solutions. geometry dash lite

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