Huawei Cheats Dur­ing Bench­marks

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Huawei has been send­ing out phones with se­cret bench­mark modes to in­flate their GPU bench­marks. The phone de­tects the bench­mark be­ing run, and sets the SoC to op­er­ate at full throt­tle, go­ing well past its ther­mal en­ve­lope. The cheat was un­cov­ered by us­ing iden­ti­cal pri­vate ver­sions of bench­mark­ing soft­ware, which hide their names and iden­ti­fy­ing de­tails. Dur­ing the le­git­i­mate test of a phone run­ning a Kirin 970 SoC, it drew an av­er­age of 4.39W, but dur­ing the doc­tored test, it drew 8.57W. It also man­aged to nearly dou­ble its bench­mark scores. At all other times, the phone op­er­ates as nor­mal. Tem­per­a­ture is a prob­lem for phones, where chips can over­come the lim­ited cool­ing; most phones al­most never run at full-tilt dur­ing nor­mal use.

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