When it comes to solid state drives (SSDs), most companies crave for high performance when SSD capacity increases. As an SSD works harder to meet companies’ growing demands, it generates more power, consequently creating more heat. If heat is not removed, the SSD temperature would exceed the expected operating condition, leading to potential hardware damage or data error.
Dynamic thermal throttling process
Apart from designing the SSDs to tolerate higher temperature, another effective solution to address the overheating issue is to have a good thermal management. Dynamic thermal throttling mechanism is thus fundamental for SSDs. A thermal sensor is implemented in the drive to monitor the temperature via S.M.A.R.T. command. Once the temperature exceeds the threshold, thermal throttling mechanism is activated automatically to reduce the drive speeds. The drive starts to throttle down the performance, allowing SSD to self-cool, increasing the SSD’s reliability and prolonging product lifespan.
Dynamic thermal throttling mechanism is divided into different protection stages. Take PCIe M.2 SSD MTE352T for example, when S.M.A.R.T. temperature reaches 85℃, level 1 protection is activated to ease the operation. As temperature rises to 95℃, level 2 protection is activated to slow down the drive in greater deal. Level 3 will be initiated when the S.M.A.R.T. temperature is over 100℃ to prevent overheating or drive shutdown.
As SSD capacity soars to terabyte range and beyond, performance increase is highly emphasized by the market. However, the downside would be drive damage, shorter product lifespan, and potential data loss. Therefore, to have a dynamic thermal throttling mechanism is crucial for optimal performance, sustained product lifespan, and improved data integrity.