Have you ever played any of those high-performance games on your mobile device? We’re talking about titles such as Dead Trigger 2, Shadowgun, or even Dead Space. You’ll notice that as soon as you play any of these games your smartphone runs out of battery faster. This is because the graphics core of your device is working hard to ensure a smooth gaming experience.
While other companies such as Qualcomm are focusing their research on extending battery life when a device is in a low power mode Intel is taking a different approach. The company is set to introduce a graphics chip that has new features allowing it to improve energy efficiency by as much as 40%. This means that you won’t have to worry about recharging your device when you are playing any of the popular 3D titles.
The new GPU isn’t just meant for gaming as it is also used in streaming HD videos and other graphically demanding tasks. According to James Tschanz, Research Scientist at Intel Labs, “If you are using your computing devices for these purposes, chances are that much of the heavy lifting is done by the graphics processor – a small yet powerful computing engine that sits right next to the processor in the silicon chip ‘brain’ of your computer.”
Intel’s new GPU debuts at the International Solid State Circuits Conference 2014 which is currently being held in San Francisco. The GPU is built on a 22nm fabrication process and is aimed at mobile devices and handheld systems. The company claims that it has a 2.7x gigaflops-per-watt increase at near-threshold voltage operation and a 1.4x increase in peak gigaflops per watt. This just basically means more muscle for the same power or the same muscle for lesser power.
Intel is at an advantage compared to other competing mobile solutions. This is because the company is already using the 22nm process while the rest of the industry is stuck at the 28nm process.
James further explains why the new GPU is more energy efficient.
“First, it is well known that the best way to reduce power is to reduce voltage, so Intel’s graphics cores are designed to take advantage of our 22nm tri-gate transistor technology which allows high-performance operation even as voltage is lowered. “
“This graphics core includes a technique – called adaptive clocking – to reduce this safety margin by detecting voltage droop events and slowing down the clock frequency of the core to prevent failures. These droops are infrequent and very fast, so slowing down the clock is not perceptible to the user. The user will notice, however, the extra battery life achieved by this technique!”
“Finally, this core includes special circuits that allow it to go very quickly into a ‘sleep’ state, saving all of the important data but consuming very little power. “