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The impact of variability on sub-45nm CMOS multimedia platforms makes hard to provide application QoS guarantees, as the speed variations across the cores may cause sub-optimal and sample-dependent utilization of the available resources and energy budget. These effects can be compensated by an efficient allocation of the workload at run-time. In the context of multimedia applications, a critical objective is to compensate core speed variability while matching time constraints without impacting the energy consumption. In this paper we present a new approach to compute optimal task allocations at run-time. The proposed strategy exploits an efficient and scalable implementation to find on-line the best possible solution in a tightly bounded time. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of compensation both in terms of deadline miss rate and energy savings. Results have been compared with those obtained applying state-of-art techniques on a multithreaded MPEG2 decoder. The validation has been performed on a cycle-accurate virtual prototype of a next-generation industrial multicore platform that has been extended with process variability models.