PCIe 5.0 SSDs without heatsink get too hot, activate thermal throttling and stop working

One of the most used controllers in the latest generation PCIe 5.0 SSD drives tends to show overheating phenomena. The company already has the updated firmware ready but stresses the importance of using a suitable heat sink.

The SSD PCIe 5.0 are solid-state storage drives that use the fifth generation PCIe interface to connect to the host system. PCIe 5.0 offers a data transfer rate theoretical maximum of 32 GT/s (gigatransfer per second), making it twice as fast as the PCIe 4.0 interface.

PCIe 5.0 SSD drives can achieve up to 16GB/s read and write performance by configuring as storage devices ideal for applications that need to move large volumes of data in a short time. Solid state drives generally use chips 3D NAND TLC and the NVMe protocol which in accessing data allows for higher performance than traditional archiving protocols.

The performance of modern PCIe 5.0 SSDs are orders of magnitude higher than those of magnetomechanical hard drives. However, some of the latest generation SSD models seem to suffer from the thermal throttling and even turn off.

Il thermal throttling in SSDs it occurs when the solid state drive reduces performance to avoid overheating: when the internal temperature of the SSD exceeds a certain threshold, the device decreases the speed of reading and writing data to reduce the amount of heat generated. This situation obviously causes a slowdown of the system and decreases the overall performance of the unit.

The memoria flash NAND inside SSDs is quite sensitive to heat compared to traditional hard drives and a common problem has come up these days with the controller Phison PS5026-E26quite common in PCIe Gen5 drives.

As early as March 2022, Phison claimed that flagship PCIe 5.0 SSDs require a well-designed, active heat dissipation system. By sending a response to Phoronix, Phison spokespersons confirmed the problem with the controller PS5026-E26 pledging to resolve the matter in a timely manner. Indeed, the company has already revealed that it has developed a new version of the firmware which fixes the misbehavior of SSDs of various brands.

Our firmware engineering teams have already isolated the issue and made the necessary changes to the thermal acceleration curve within hours of reporting it. However, new firmware must go through Phison’s rigorous validation process before our partners can release it to customers. Rest assured that our partners will notify end users as soon as the validated update is available“, is pointed out by the company who wanted to highlight how the E26 controller in question still provides for the use of a Heatsink “ad hoc”. Phison offers the option to purchase the controller without a heatsink only to allow customers to reuse cooling solutions that may already be available.

In another article we have offered a review of the main features of the Phison PS5026-E26 controller which allows you to transfer data up to 12GB/s.

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