Case Study: The Path to Credible, Convincing Benchmarks

Submitted by BDTI on Thu, 09/28/2017 - 01:00

Benchmarks are an important resource for system and processor designers alike. System designers need good benchmarks to understand how a processor will meet the requirements of their applications and to compare processors accurately. Processor designers need good benchmarks to assess how their processors will perform on their target applications and to prove their processors' capabilities to customers.

But before determining what a good benchmark is, it’s best to ask what you want the benchmark to tell you. In other words, start with the results in mind. For example, for battery-powered applications, processor energy efficiency is critical. And, for computer vision applications, where real-time performance is often critical, throughput may be the paramount consideration. A good benchmark enables measurement of the important characteristics of the target application. These days, though, with increasingly complex applications, asking the right questions can be tricky.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the right metrics, the next priority is to identify the key processing tasks—the benchmark workloads—that are representative of the main tasks that will be performed by the application of interest. You can’t use a video compression benchmark to assess performance on computer vision.

BDTI’s long history in benchmarking processors gives us a unique advantage in helping system and processor designers. We have spent man-years carefully designing and implementing benchmarks that are accurate and relevant. Recently, BDTI was engaged by a chip manufacturer to design a set of benchmarks to use in modeling performance on deep learning-based applications. BDTI engineers worked closely with the client to define applications of interest. Then, using its detailed knowledge of deep learning algorithms, BDTI identified tasks common to the most relevant algorithms. The result was a set of recommendations for creating benchmarks that will enable the client to accurately understand how its devices will perform, and to produce results that will be credible and convincing to customers.

If you're a processor designer in need of objective competitive analysis or credible evidence of your processor's advantages—or a system or SoC designer in need of reliable data to guide processor selection, contact Jeremy Giddings via the web or phone (+1 925 954 1411) to learn more about how BDTI can help you.

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