Power versus quality trade-offs for adaptive real-time applications

A. Nelson, S. te Pas, K.B. Akesson, A.M. Molnos, K.G.W. Goossens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic devices are expected to accommodate evermore complex functionality. Portable devices, such as mobile phones, have experienced a rapid increase in functionality, while at the same time being constrained by the amount of energy that may be stored in their batteries. Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) is a common technique that is used to trade processor speed for a reduction in power consumption. Adaptive applications can reduce their output quality in exchange for a reduction in their execution time. This exchange has been shown to be useful for meeting temporal constraints, but its usefulness for reducing energy/power consumption has not been investigated. In this paper, we present a technique that uses existing DVFS methods to trade a quality decrease for lower power/energy consumption through an intermediary reduction in execution time. Our technique achieves this while meeting soft and/or hard time/energy/power constraints. We demonstrate the applicability of our technique on an adaptive H.263 decoder application, running on a predictable hardware platform that is prototyped on an FPGA. We further contribute an experimental evaluation of the H.263 decoder's scalable mechanisms, in their ability to trade quality for temporal/energy/power. From experimentation, we show that our quality trading technique is able to achieve up to a 45% increase in the number of frames decoded for the same amount of energy, in comparison to frequency scaling alone, but with a quality reduction of up to 22dB Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th IEEE Symposium on Embedded Systems for Real-Time Multimedia (ESTImedia), 11-12 October 2012, Tampere, Finland
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-4966-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Eventconference; ESTIMedia 2012; 2012-10-11; 2012-10-12 -
Duration: 11 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


Conferenceconference; ESTIMedia 2012; 2012-10-11; 2012-10-12
OtherESTIMedia 2012


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