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Mohamad ASUS
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Message 13050 - Posted: 20 Jul 2014, 11:27:24 UTC

I am sorry if this is a stupid question, as I don't have a very full understanding of how different processors work. But would it ever be practically possible to make BURP run on the Android BOINC client?

The processing power on these devices is obviously lower than desktops, but I see a few advantages:

- More consistent processing power, as once this is set up it will process whenever the device is charging without any effort on the behalf of the user. So all those users like myself, that used BURP on their desktop for a while but then forgot about it, would be contributing processing power for the lifetime of their devices. There are currently only 47 users who have recently contributed over 1000 credits, compared to more than 10000 total users, and I believe a huge proportion of those would be still rendering now if mobile was an option, seeing as the latest figures show over 80% of mobile phones are running Android.

- Because of its unobtrusive nature I would be comfortable asking friends and family to install the client on their Android devices to help me with rendering. This would further increase the number of devices you have on the farm.

- Setting up old phones for rendering would be easier than setting up old computers.

The problem with their low processing power would mean frames take very long to render but this could be solved by reducing the sample number to 1 and changing the seed for every device.

Thanks!
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funkydude
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Message 13051 - Posted: 20 Jul 2014, 12:41:44 UTC

Not sure if Blender even runs on ARM at the moment, but I don't see this happening soon. Keep in mind that unlike other BOINC project which usually have large deadlines, BURP tries to keep it small to get the project done and finished ASAP. Having it on phones might make the whole farm worse.

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Message 13052 - Posted: 21 Jul 2014, 4:20:44 UTC - in response to Message 13050.

once this is set up it will process whenever the device is charging without any effort on the behalf of the user.
Because of its unobtrusive nature I would be comfortable asking friends and family to install the client on their Android device
I don't see how these statements apply exclusively to Android devices... You've basically described how BOINC functions.

Setting up old phones for rendering would be easier than setting up old computers.
I really don't see how... Unless you're talking about obtaining BOINC through the Play store, versus downloading and running an installer. But, in my opinion, using the touch-screen keyboard to precisely enter a URL, username and password negate this "advantage".

At any rate, it won't be feasible until Blender releases an app for the ARM architecture, which is outside the scope of this project. It's not unforeseeable in the near future, since ARM devices are cropping up in a lot of areas for efficient computing; even though they don't bring the raw crunching muscle, they get much better throughput per watt than traditional x86 processors.
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Message 13053 - Posted: 21 Jul 2014, 6:49:10 UTC
Last modified: 21 Jul 2014, 6:51:43 UTC

There are currently no plans to officially support arm-linux-gnueabihf or arm-android-linux-gnu platforms. You are welcome to try to run it anyways, it should work.

Fun fact of the day:
I took part in the initial push for Android support in BOINC. Over a period of about half a year I tried out 3 different applications as proof of concept: one from seti@home, one from einstein@home and (surprise, surprise) BURP's blender+Glue3. Whereas both seti and Einstein apps could make ample use of the NEON extensions for FFT Blender never really got much benefit from it. Einstein in particular picked up on the topic and improved their app a lot by making it consume less memory etc.

A word of warning, though: Blender takes forever to compile on these devices (almost a day on my old HTC Desire), you may want to set up a crosscompiling compiler on a more powerful machine.
Also: When Blender runs out of memory it sometimes crashes badly in a way where it will stall forever with 0% CPU. Android devices are often very memory restricted while none of the hardware supports swap very well - and consequently they use aggressive memory management rather than swap.


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Message boards : Client : Boinc on Android