Samsung and UK-based Codeplay address mobile GPU power

Samsung Electronics UK is part of a European Union-funded research project to develop a power analyst tool to make the mobile graphics processor (GPU) more power efficient.

Samsung has teamed up with Edinburgh-based GPU technology company Codeplay, Greece-based silicon IP developer 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.

Andrew Richards, Codeplay CEO said: “This will enable us to solve a very challenging problem: lengthening battery life of smartphones while running the most advanced graphics processing.”

Andrew Richards, CodePlay

Andrew Richards, CodePlay

The project has secured an EU Commission grant of €2.97m.

Ben Juurlink, project coordinator and professor at TU Berlin, write:

“Searching for the performance and energy bottlenecks in applications running on embedded GPUs is like searching for a needle in a haystack.”

According to Juurlink, there is a real need to provide 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,” said Juurlink.

Dr Iakovos Stamoulis, Think Silicon CTO, believes the constrained power budget of new mobile and IoT/wearable devices 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 minimize 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,” said Stamoulis.

The project aims to define new industry standards for resource and performance monitoring to be widely adopted by embedded hardware GPU vendors (Khronos group). It also wants to enhance existing dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) mechanism to optimise power and performance.

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