Machine Learning: MLPerf and AI Benchmark 4

Even as a new benchmark in the space, MLPerf has been made available that runs representative workloads on devices and takes advantage of both common ML frameworks such as NNAPI as well as the respective chip libraries for each vendor. Using this benchmark on retail phones to date, Qualcomm has had the lead in almost all the tests, but given that the company is promoting a 4x increase in AI performance, it will be interesting to see if that comes across all of MLPerf’s testing scenarios.

It should be noted that Apple’s CoreML is currently not supported, hence the lack of Apple numbers here.

MLPerf 1.0.1 - Image ClassificationMLPerf 1.0.1 - Object DetectionMLPerf 1.0.1 - Image SegmentationMLPerf 1.0.1 - Image Classification (Offline)

Across the board in these first four tests Qualcomm is making a sizable lead, going above and beyond what the S888 can do. Here we’re seeing up to a 2.2x result, making an average +75% gain. It’s not quite the 4x that Qualcomm promoted in its materials, but there’s a sizable gap with the other high-end silicon we’ve tested to date.

MLPerf 1.0.1 - Language Processing

The only non-lead is with the language processing, where Google’s Tensor SoC is almost 2x what the S8g1 scores. This test is based on a mobileBERT model, and either for software or architecture reasons, it fits a lot better into the Google chip than any other. As smartphones increase their ML capabilities, we might see some vendors optimizing for specific workloads over others, like Google has, or offering different accelerator blocks for different models. The ML space is also fast paced, so perhaps optimizing for one type of model might not be a great strategy long-term. We will see.

AI Benchmark 4 - NNAPI (CPU+GPU+NPU)

In AI Benchmark 4, running in pure NNAPI mode, the Qualcomm S8g1 takes a comfortable lead. Andrei noted in previous reviews with this test that the power consumed during this test can be quite high, up to 14 W, and this is where some chips might be able to pull ahead an efficiency advantage. Unfortunately we didn’t record power at the same time as the test, but it would be good to monitor this in the future.

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  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    Android let's you do this? With root, sure, but that's hardly a supported experience & certainly isn't a stable one unless you are willing to go without Google services.
    Although I still will not pay for an Apple device, Google has convinced me they aren't interested in making Android great for consumers. They can't even be trusted to reliably sync browser data & that is a f*|<ing trivial problem.
  • Dolda2000 - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    Running Linux on desktop computers isn't exactly a "supported" configuration either. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be, and the same thing is generally true for Android phones as well (though not quite as true as it should be, to be sure).
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - link

    They aren't the same thing.
    For one, yes, Linux is a supported OS on certain, mostly enterprise, machines, though I do understand your point.
    Second, phones don't yet have an equivalence to acpi & UEFI, so you're largely at the mercy of the OEM.
    Am I missing something?
  • Fulljack - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - link

    nah, I'm using root and all my google services—even banking apps are fine. what are you talking about?
  • Meteor2 - Friday, December 17, 2021 - link

    Chrome syncs perfectly between Windows, iPadOS, and Android for me.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, December 17, 2021 - link

    I can plug my android phone into any PC and browse the filesystem to my hearts content. I can upload my own music to any folder I wish, load ROMs, ece.
  • Nicon0s - Saturday, December 18, 2021 - link

    "Android let's you do this?"

    Yes it does.
  • Qasar - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    " As usual, it's far slower than iPhones. People are getting ripped off when they buy slower Android hardware instead of iPhones. "

    ill take the android phones over the iphone any day, im NOT paying for the apple tax, ( apple's products are just too over priced) and the fact, that you cant add storage to them via a micro SD card. so no thanks, owning anything made by apple, is more of a status symbol, then anything else now
  • Duncan Macdonald - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    That depends on what they use their phones for. For people who do not play demanding games on their phones Android phones are far better value for money, for people that do play demanding games then the higher performance from Apple may be worth the much higher cost.
  • Reflex - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    The 6-10 years of support for iPhones more than mitigates what is at this point a very minor price difference outside of the very low end. iPhone SE is only $400 after all. Android phones in that price range are not great performers and have at best 2 years of support typically.

    Even a used iPhone will typically have years more support than a comparably cheap new Android device, and for a non-power user that's great. I'll likely never have to upgrade my aunt's iPhone 8, which I got for her a few years ago when WinPhone died off and which has years of support left.

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