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Study Explores Computing Bursts for Smartphones

cares  l  2013 . 01 . 30 (02/21/12) Nancy Owano 

The performance of smartphones could be improved by using chips that are designed for computational sprinting, say researchers at Pennsylvania and Michigan universities. Today's processors need to respond quickly to short bursts of computational demand for interactive workloads, but they are made for sustained performance. "Our approach called computational sprinting is aimed at mobile environments like smartphones, where many current and emerging interactive applications are characterized by short bursts of intense computation punctuated by long idle periods," the researchers say. The team envisions computer chips with more than 12 processing cores, rather than multicore chips with two or four, with phones using a single core to carry out normal operations and utilizing all cores for heavy-duty computation to ensure tasks are done quickly. In a simulation, a sprinting chip delivered a significant performance boost. "Our study indicates that it is feasible to capture the responsiveness of a [16-watt] chip within the engineering constraints of a [1-watt] mobile device via parallel computational sprinting," the researchers note.

From : ACM TechNews, February, 27, 2012

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