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Title: Games are up for DVFS
Authors: Gu, Y.
Chakraborty, S. 
Ooi, W.T. 
Keywords: Animation
Computer games
Computer graphics
Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling
Graphics workload characterization
Power-aware design
Issue Date: 2006
Citation: Gu, Y.,Chakraborty, S.,Ooi, W.T. (2006). Games are up for DVFS. Proceedings - Design Automation Conference : 598-603. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Graphics-intensive computer games are no longer restricted to high-performance desktops, but are also available on a variety of portable devices ranging from notebooks to PDAs and mobile phones. Battery life has been a major concern in the design of both the hardware and the software for such devices. Towards this, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) has emerged as a powerful technique. However, the showcase application for DVFS algorithms so far has largely been video decoding, primarily because it is computationally expensive and its workload exhibits a high degree of variability. This paper investigates the possibility of applying DVFS to interactive computer games, which to the best of our knowledge has not been studied before. We show that the variability in the workload associated with a popular First Person Shooter game like Quake II is significantly higher than video decoding. Although this variability makes game applications an attractive candidate for DVFS, it is unclear if DVFS algorithms can be applied to games due to their interactive (and hence highly unpredictable) nature. In this paper, we show using detailed experiments that (surprisingly) interactive computer games are highly amenable to DVFS. Towards this we present a novel workload characterization of computer games, based on the game engine for Quake II. We believe that our findings might potentially lead to a number of innovative DVFS algorithms targeted towards game applications, exactly as video decoding has motivated a variety of schemes for DVFS. Copyright 2006 ACM.
Source Title: Proceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISBN: 1595933816
ISSN: 0738100X
DOI: 10.1145/1146909.1147063
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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