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FPGA - Accelerated group-by aggregation using synchronizing caches

  • Author(s): Absalyamov, I
  • Budhkar, P
  • Windh, S
  • Halstead, RJ
  • Najjar, WA
  • Tsotras, VJ
  • et al.

Recent trends in hardware have dramatically dropped the price of RAM and shifted focus from systems operating on disk-resident data to in-memory solutions. In this environment high memory access latency, also known as memory wall, becomes the biggest data processing bottleneck. Traditional CPU-based architectures solved this problem by introducing large cache hierarchies. However algorithms which experience poor locality can limit the benefits of caching. In turn, hardware multithreading provides a generic solution that does not rely on algorithm-specific locality properties. In this paper we present an FPGA-accelerated implementation of in-memory group-by hash aggregation. Our design relies on hardware multithreading to efficiently mask long memory access latency by implementing a custom operation datapath on FPGA. We propose using CAMs (Content Addressable Memories) as a mechanism of synchronization and local pre-aggregation. To the best of our knowledge this is the first work, which uses CAMs as a synchronizing cache. We evaluate aggregation throughput against the state-of-the-art multithreaded software implementations and demonstrate that the FPGA-accelerated approach significantly outperforms them on large grouping key cardinalities and yields speedup up to 10x.

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