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SQL Accelerator FPGA/ASIC
Following our little chat in IRC, I'm writing this email to explain in more detail what the idea is. My name is Nasser GHOSEIR (Founder, CTO of Butterfly labs), which I must note that this project is not from Butterfly Labs,
but will be a new company in Europe.
Our idea is to find a way to accelerate SQL query processing by either:
1) Creating an FPGA solution (Which will later evolve into ASIC), that has like 400 processors in itself, allow distribute calculation of some kind
2) Creating an FPGA/ASIC solution that performs large number of unrelated tasks (such as addition, multiplication, etc) in parallel
3) Creating an FPGA/ASIC solution that allows very high-speed access to data with some PRE-PROCESSING involved to accelerate the calculation
4) Creating a very high-speed storage solution, but no pre-processing.
An example to give is for 200,000 rows, imagine: "SELECT A+B, C FROM TableX WHERE C > 0". If there are 200,000 records, the processor has to perform 200,000 additions (A+B).
A CPU will handle these additions one-by-one (or maybe few-by-few if SSE, etc is used). However, an FPGA/ASIC solution can perform 1000 additions in a single-cycle. This results in acceleration.
Now, to what extend this can be effective, or what other solutions (maybe string processing?) can be implemented to accelerate the SQL processing is a question to me right now. But we do have experience in
making extremely fast processors (our Butterfly Labs Monarch chip performs 400 billion double-SHA256 hashes in 1 second, around 20,000 times faster than the best intel XEON processor can do only twenty
million hashes per second).
The project is in brain-storming phase, and we are aware that this solution will be useful to large enterprises, or companies that have to deal with 200,000 rows in a single "SELECT" query. The idea is to integrate
some features in hardware, and then re-write a portion of MariaDB to take advantage of the new resources. Also, it is possible that users/companies will need to re-write their query to make it compliant.
You can reach my by mail at cdmcsd@xxxxxxxxx or by phone at +33 6 72 17 26 19 (France).