“Why is it that only 1 percent of all architecture research papers published each year in the top computer architecture conferences focus on mobile computing?
Surely it can’t be that the architecture community thinks that mobile computing is less important than datacenter computing,” write the researchers in “Two Billion Devices and Counting” (login may be required for full text) in the society’s “Taking all of the major cloud service providers—Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook—into account, a liberal estimate of the number of servers worldwide is perhaps 10 million.
After ten years of mobile computing, there are more than 3 million applications currently in the Google Play Store.
The number of applications available first exceeded 1.5 million in 2015.
Put another way, increasing the frequency from 1.06 GHz to 1.67 GHz is worth the extra energy, as it helps meet the cut-off latency.
Pushing beyond 1.67 GHz can be wasteful in terms of performance and energy,” the authors say.Choosing applications to test benchmarks can be hit or miss. “It is typical practice in the community to select the top applications from the app stores to conduct detailed micro-architectural analysis studies.But architects must learn to be cognizant of the aforementioned pace of change, as the popularity of mobile applications can evolve quickly,” the authors say.This means more than 60,000 new applications are released in the Google Play Store each month.Keeping pace with the mobile ecosystem is challenging because benchmarks evolve more slowly than real-world applications,” the authors say.So, the current smartphone-to-server ratio is 200:1,” they write. Though North America and Europe are reaching saturation, other parts of the world are exploding, especially Asia.Mobile subscriptions are projected to reach 6 billion worldwide in coming years, the Google team says.The browser is an integral part of any benchmark development.“Mobile processor architects must include the browser in the creation of a benchmark suite and any sort of hardware or software optimization analysis,” say the authors.In practice, however, if the micro-architectural enhancements cannot translate to measurable user experience, doing so won’t be useful,” they say.In the chart below, you can see how improving energy efficiency improves user experience only up to a certain point: “By dropping from 2.15 GHz to 1.67 GHz, we can still meet the 16.67-ms cut-off for all the frames, save a significant amount of power and energy, and run cooler.