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Intel Linux driver update brings PCIe 6.0 and 7.0 thermal throttling

PCIe 7.0 future motherboard (Source: DALL·E 3-generated image)
PCIe 7.0 future motherboard (Source: DALL·E 3-generated image)
While the latest Intel Linux driver update allows for the system to automatically decrease the PCIe link speed when overheating is detected, link width throttling is not added yet. A future update will integrate it as well, since PCIe 6.0 and its successor, scheduled to arrive around 2028, could benefit from this.

Since active cooling for the PCIe interface is out of question, Intel is taking the steps required to address this problem via a software workaround. Looking ahead to PCIe 6.0 and PCIe 7.0, the tech giant added a measure to the Linux driver that would help keep high temperatures at bay, and another one is in the pipeline to improve the thermal performance of upcoming mainboards.

When talking about the new Linux driver, Intel Engineer Ilpo Järvinen said that this new piece of code "adds PCIe bandwidth controller (bwctrl) and associated PCIe cooling driver to the thermal core side for limiting PCIe Link Speed due to thermal reasons" and added that a cooling device is created for each port, as long as the driver detects that they're able to change speed. 

However, he also added that the new driver only supports adjusting the link speed of the PCIe interface. Lowering the PCIe link width to prevent overheating can also be helpful, but Järvinen added that existing PCIe interfaces up to 6.0 are not supporting it, so there was no need to add this feature right now. Obviously, this implies that future driver updates will come with PCIe link width control.

For just $136.99, those looking for a compact Linux-driven computing solution can buy the 4/256 GB configuration of the CyberGeek Nano J1 mini PC off Amazon. This snug machine comes with Ubuntu OS and is powered by the quad-core Intel N5095A processor.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 05 > Intel Linux driver update brings PCIe 6.0 and 7.0 thermal throttling
Codrut Nistor, 2024-05-13 (Update: 2024-05-13)