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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  • kgardas - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    There are two main reason why older/second hand phone even iphone is not a good idea. (1) battery and (2) internal flash. Both getting worse and worse with the age.
  • Glaurung - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    The amount you save buying secondhand will more than cover the cost of a battery replacement.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - link

    Yup. Get them a year or two down the line with iPhones and save way more than enough to replace the battery. I've never, ever had flash become a problem in a phone during it's usable lifespan, even the old iPhone 6S a friend uses performs just fine with iOS15. Not even worth considering that aspect.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    You can get sd870 phones from xiaomi like the poco f3 for 400$ with 256gb rom and a much bigger battery. The support still lacks, but you'll probably get 4 years or so from custom roms.
  • bernstein - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link

    custom roms are awesome. But they’re for the 1% only. The other 99% require a phone thats uptodate without even pushing a virtual button.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - link

    Samsung it is then, though for 400$ you will only get like sd778g and 4 years support. That soc will also be good enough for the 99%.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - link

    This, plus custom roms do not contain updated drivers and firmware to fix security issues past vendor support, they just hack the OS layer up to date.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Friday, December 17, 2021 - link

    Depends, my 2016 150$ phone has all security patches till 2021 10 01 according to snooosnitch app. though gpu drivers are from 2018. Everything works as intended too.
  • Reflex - Monday, December 20, 2021 - link

    It has the Android patches, it does not have any updates to driver or firmware security issues that have occurred since then (and there are vulns discovered all the time in that space). That's the diff. Also many of those third party Android roms significantly break the OS security model in order to run on old hardware, such as disabling checks for known vulnerable drivers.

    The GrapheneOS project documents a lot of what's wrong with hacked roms for older phones, and is the only third party Android ROM I would install on a device.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Monday, December 20, 2021 - link

    Yeah its almost impossible to get those patches for specific hardware in the phone. Its usually taken from other devices with the same hardware that got the update. Graphene os severely limits phone choice though. I dont see why you wouldnt go for lineage with a wide selection.

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