This position paper examines a spectrum of approaches to overcoming the limited computing power of mobile devices caused by their need to be small, lightweight and energy efficient. At one extreme is offloading of compute-intensive operations to a cloudlet nearby. At the other extreme is the use of fixed-function hardware accelerators on mobile devices. Between these endpoints lie various configurations of programmable hardware accelerators. We explore the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and conclude that they are, in fact, complementary. Based on this insight, we advocate a software-hardware co-evolution path that combines their strengths.

“The Role of Edge Offload for Hardware-Accelerated Mobile Devices”, Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Nathan Beckmann, Grace A. Lewis, Brandon Lucia, HotMobile '21: Proceedings of the 22nd International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, February 2021, https://doi.org/10.1145/3446382.3448360