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Duke University, Microsoft researchers create tool that reduces online gaming bandwidth by 83%

By Shawn Knight
May 26, 2015
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  1. duke university microsoft gaming bandwidth online gaming bandwidth reduction remote servers kahawai

    Researchers from Duke University in collaboration with Microsoft’s research arm have created a tool capable of reducing online gaming bandwidth by up to 83 percent.

    Many of today’s top graphically-intensive mobile games are only possible through the use of cloud gaming. Much like PlayStation Now and the now defunct OnLive, processing power for cloud gaming takes place on remote servers and is fed back to the user as streaming video.

    It allows gamers to play high-end titles on average and even subpar hardware. While a great idea, it also consumes a ton of bandwidth and if you’re not careful, you can eat through a data package in just a few hours unless you’re using Wi-Fi.

    Dubbed Kahawai after the Hawaiian word for stream, the new tool employs a process called collaborative rendering. Instead of having a remote server perform all of the work, Kahawai enables the local device to handle some of the workload.

    As explained by Duke Today, the task of generating fine-grained details like subtle changes in texture and shading at speeds of 60 frames per second is still left to the remote server. But with collaborative rendering, the mobile device generates a rough sketch of each frame or a few high-detail sketches of select frames and lets the remote server fill in the gaps.

    Researchers invited 50 hardcore gamers to try out the new tool while playing Doom 3. When compared with traditional cloud gaming infrastructure, participants were able to obtain similar scores with both techniques and found no difference in response times.

    The team notes that gaming was the natural starting point for developing and understanding the technology but any graphics-intensive application could potentially benefit from Kahawai.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 368   +320

    Perhaps such technology could make modern games stop lagging on the US's subpar internet infrastructure? that would be fantastic.
     
  3. Update TCP/IP
     
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,209   +424

    Shocked that this is the first I'm hearing about this... :(
     
  5. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Posts: 343   +43

    "Many of today’s top graphically-intensive mobile games are only possible through the use of cloud gaming. ...processing power for cloud gaming takes place on remote servers and is fed back to the user as streaming video."

    How do I find out which games do this?
     
  6. Stop lagging?
    Nope. Read the article again. It uses a LOT of network so would make things worse.

    Most games do all the rendering insider your console and the network data is small, simply sharing positional and other data about your character. Then there is GAME STREAMING that does all of the rendering on a remote server and sends the video stream like a Netflix video (thus major lag and quality issues due to lack of bandwidth to get 1080@60FPS in good quality).

    The service suggested is simply part way in between.

    There's a LOT of downside though. A noticeable quality boost with potentially major lag issues. You have to pay for the bandwidth and the server processing costs a lot. Not suited for a good PC, and not suited for one that's too weak. Not suited for low bandwidth connection or monthly cap.

    Remember when Microsoft hyped up Azure? That was a lie. That was mainly about doing client-side CPU calculations for MMO's to reduce CPU bottlenecking. Your console still does all the video processing. In fact, Microsoft claimed "it can provide the power of FOUR additional consoles..." which is pretty much *****ic. Sure it can... it could provide the processing power of a THOUSAND in theory but that's not the issue.
     
  7. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    Sometimes it's just really REALLY terrible Routing by the ISP. As an exanple, 50-80 ping to go to an AWS server 20 minutes away on Verizon FIOS connection , and 20-30 ping on COX Comm. roughly the speed and distance... Like, come ON. I like my Verizon FIOS service when compared to Comcast, but some things just will never make sense.
     
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,548   +2,894

    How about 350 ping everyday for the last 5 months. And 2MB/3MB download when the service is supposed to be 10MB. The 1MB upload is the only thing acceptable. Even though 1MB upload is slow, it is what was agreed upon in the contract.

    If you don't believe me, take a look at a few speedtest.net results over the last couple months. I'll let you draw your own conclusion as to who is responsible with the IP recorded in the attached data. I don't know who to blame when a service provider rents out IP to another service provider.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    Is it just me or is the article title miss leading? This seems to be about cloud gaming (which is in a sense online gaming) but I thought this was going to be about improving MMOs.
     
  10. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I never said the ISP could not be at fault, I was responding to the comment about lag in games; sometimes it's due to not having enough bandwidth, but often it's a long and ineffecient route to the server, and sometimes overburdened hardware/servers. You can have 1GBps download, but if the route takes you across the country and back (several times in bad cases), it won't help you much.

    As far as bad service is concerned, I know what that is like to a lesser degree. When I had Comcast I was constantly over promised, under delivered, and had to fight every price hike every year. I know someone who is stuck on end of the line Verizon DSL because he was practically guaranteed that he would be able to get cable service (this was before FIOS rollout was practically halted). Then he was told he could only get dial up because there was no "high speed access" from them in the area, only to produce the previous owner's cable bill which showed DSL service.

    He spent 2 weeks fighting with Verizon to get that installed and speed wise is worse off (50% slower) than you, but that latency is very painful.
     
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,951   +162

    This is pretty cool, now your machine and the machinery on the cloud server can both work together. Freeing up bandwidth and processing power on the cloud.

    "Dubbed Kahawai after the Hawaiian word for stream, the new tool employs a process called collaborative rendering. Instead of having a remote server perform all of the work, Kahawai enables the local device to handle some of the workload."


    The writer assumes you all know what cloud gaming is, so foolish lol jk nice article.
     
  12. Cisco, juniper et al have one really big job in life, routing packets of data, yet you seem to regard anything not going directly from a to b as inefficient? The 30+ year evolution of routers is all about getting YOUR packets to their destination in the fastest way possible. Sometimes the fastest way is a-z-b. Give them some credit.
     

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