Intel Revises PCIe Cooling Driver To Reduce Link Speed When Running Too Hot

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 8 May 2024 at 12:19 PM EDT. 18 Comments
Since last year Intel's open-source software engineers have been working on a PCIe bandwidth controller driver for the Linux kernel to avoid thermal issues by being able to automatically reduce the PCIe link speed when needed. This driver still isn't over the finish line but today brought the fifth iteration of these patches.

With new PCI Express versions continuing to only push for faster speeds, Intel engineers have found the need for a Linux kernel driver that's able to limit the PCIe link speed in case of thermal pressure. This in-development driver will limit the PCIe link speed for thermal reasons. The driver will register a cooling device for each PCIe port discovered where the link speed can be manipulated. Reducing the PCIe link width should in turn help cope with high temperatures. Not currently implemented in the driver, but with PCIe 6.0+ is also a mechanism that should allow controlling the PCIe link width too should the need present itself to throttle the link width for thermal reasons.

pcie_cooling Kconfig driver text

The v5 patches posted today have some code refactoring and other clean-ups. Given this "pcie_cooling" thermal driver has been in development since last summer already, hopefully it finds its way soon to the mainline kernel.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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