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March 28, 2017 by Ben Chan

The Mathematics Behind a Superior Gaming Experience

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In my previous blog, Calix customer Paul Bunyan Communications used GigaCenters to super charge the online gaming experience. Today, I’ll go into the mathematics of how gigabit broadband makes this possible.

Human expectation of speed is quite demanding. Even back in 1993, a Nielsen usability study found that, for web-browsing, a tenth of a second (100 millisecond) delay is perceived as reacting instantly. Anything more than 1 second is considered a distraction. For modern interactive applications like voice and video calls, every millisecond will impact user experience after the delay exceeds 0.1 seconds.

In the gaming world, delay is critical, it’s the time interval between an initiated action and its response. For example, how long will it take your game avatar to move after you press a button? With a short delay, you feel the character is reacting swiftly, just like in the real world. A high delay makes the online game experience unnatural and unplayable.

So what contributes to the total delay? Mathematically, it can be expressed as follows:

Delay = Latency + (Data Packet Size / Bandwidth)

With a given data packet size, delay is dictated by inherent latency such as speed of light and bandwidth. That’s the reason why fiber gigabit broadband can provide the lowest delay time. In the coming years, delay will become an even more important differentiator to service providers for game changing applications. Imagine millions of users reach out to their friends and families with ‘life like’ ultra-high definition video calls, and shop online with surreal Augmented Reality (AR) gears.

Stay tuned for future blogs as I will share more about other methods we use to quantify a superior experience. In the meanwhile, please visit calix.com to learn more about Calix Intelligent Access and GigaFamily solutions.