EU-funded study starts work on low-power GPU-hosted applications

EU-funded study starts work on low-power GPU-hosted applications

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By eeNews Europe

Graphics researchers at Samsung Electronics UK have teamed up with mobile graphics specialists Codeplay, Think Silicon and TU Berlin to develop a tool for enabling smartphone batteries to last longer while running advanced video games and using the camera.

The EU Commission has awarded the consortium a grant of €2.97 million to research and develop a novel tool chain for analysing, visualising, and improving the power efficiency of applications on mobile Graphics Processor Units (GPUs). The three European technology companies are: Codeplay, the Edinburgh based GPU technology company; Think Silicon, a Greek low gate-count Graphics Semiconductor IP Core company; and Samsung Electronics UK Ltd. TU-Berlin (Germany), a European University, completes the group.

The key objectives of the 2 and a half years research project are:

– Define new industry standards for resource and performance monitoring to be widely adopted by embedded hardware GPU vendors (Khronos group)

– Define a methodology for accurate power estimations for embedded GPU.

– Enhance existing Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) mechanism for optimum power management with sustained performance.

– To improve the power efficiency of compute and graphics applications running on mobile GPUs

– Build a unique power and performance visualisation tool which informs application and GPU device driver developers of potential power and performance improvements.

Andrew Richards, Codeplay CEO said, “Working within this expert team across business and academia to analyse power consumption of videogames and camera processing is a fabulous opportunity for us at Codeplay. It will enable us to solve a very challenging problem: lengthening battery life of smartphones while running the most advanced graphics processing.”

Ben Juurlink, project coordinator and professor at TU Berlin, adds, “Searching for the performance and energy bottlenecks in applications running on embedded GPUs is like searching for a needle in a haystack. It is absolutely crucial that application developers are supported in this challenging task by smart analysis and visualisation tools. Current embedded GPUs are powerful enough to execute immersive applications that we could only dream of a few years ago. However, all this compute power is good-for-nothing if the battery lasts for a few minutes only.”

Philip Harmer, of Samsung commented, “Consumers have become used to powerful, responsive graphics in mobile phones. They now rightly expect long battery life too. The LPGPU2 project will provide an advanced analytic tool for developers to improve the power usage and performance of their applications.”

Dr Iakovos Stamoulis, Think Silicon CTO adds, “The severely constrained power budget of new mobile and IoT/wearable devices with rich immersive multimedia capabilities shifts the design focus from performance to power in order to meet the toughest specifications. It is of absolute importance to holistically optimise systems at all levels: hardware, algorithmic and application software to minimise power consumption. LPGPU2 Project will provide the means to measure, explore and identify energy usage, which is of utmost importance to achieve the required efficiency.”

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