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Greased Lightning: the GPU DBMS

By Carl Olofson

A new kind of database query processing technology is emerging: one based on graphics processing units (GPUs). Unlike conventional technology that limits its processing to CPUs, these new products can crunch large sets of numbers in parallel in a fraction of the time that the same queries require on regular systems. This is because GPUs, which were originally developed to perform the calculations necessary to drive real-time graphics, can concentrate terrific processing power on many problems simultaneously. GPU databases promise to be a key to handling very complex queries, where answers are needed to drive ongoing processing in an increasingly dynamic, stream-driven, smart processing environment.


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