Unity DOTS: What is DOTS?

by Liam Cubicle Published February 13, 2024

As a game developer, enhancing the performance of your gaming application is paramount. You will want to build a game that requires the most efficient CPU usage with enhanced performance. With Unity’s DOTS, you can build games with enhanced efficiency and performance.

In this article, you will learn what Unity’s DOTS is and what it entails.

What is Unity’s DOTS?

Unity’s Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS) is a combination of technologies that incorporates data-oriented design to building games in Unity. It is an upgrade from Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). With Unity’s DOTS, you get the performance you need for your game projects.

Unity’s DOTS consists of several technologies working together;

  • The Entity Component System (ECS)
  • The Burst Compiler
  • The C# Job System

The Entity Component System (ECS)

This is the core of the Unity’s Data-Oriented Technology Stack. It uses a data-oriented framework to build games with enhanced performance. The framework is compatible with GameObjects, giving creators a chance to leverage their Unity skills and assets to build ambitious games. Unity’s ECS satisfies creators with a thirst for building more ambitious games. Codes based on ECS do not require the need for refactoring as with object-oriented technologies. Unity’s ECS comes with a C# package source code, giving users access to explore and debug it.

ECS has three principal parts;

  • Entities - what your program is made of.
  • Components - data associated which each entity. The method of organization of the data is the major difference between DOTS and OOP.
  • Systems - the logic behind the development of a program.

The Burst Compiler

For game developers, performance is paramount. Therefore, the Burst Compiler is part of Unity’s DOTS to help enhance the performance of your gaming applications. This is a compiler that translates your code from IL/.NET bytecode to LLVM IR. A language used by the LLVM compiler. It can be used with Unity’s job system to create optimized codes to enhance your program’s performance. With the Burst Compiler, you can build optimized applications with highly enhanced performance. It uses the LLVM compiler infrastructure for the translation. Burst makes your code run faster and easier to fine-tune. For more details on using the Burst Compiler, visit the instruction manual.

The C# Job System

This system allows developers to write parallelized codes, meaning the codes run in parallel to one another. That is, multithreaded codes that can be executed across all available CPU cores. Tasks run parallelly and simultaneously instead of one after the other. With the Job System, the performance of your application is optimized. It is more efficient than just running your code on one CPU core. The Job System can be used with Burst Compiler and Entity Component System for increased performance and a reduced battery consumption on smart phones.

The combination of these three powerful technologies makes Unity’s DOTS ahead of the traditional OOP. To understand how to integrate Unity DOTS into your applications, you need to understand how data-oriented design works. DOD is the foundation of DOTS.

Wrap Up

Developers are now integrating Unity’s DOTS in their gaming applications. Don’t be left out, visit the Unity DOTS official page here to get adequate resources you can use to learn about the fundamental concepts of DOTS.

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