GPU Accelerated Databases

I was reading about General Purpose GPU programming on  and I started to think about how GPU could be leveraged in database technology. One use that came to my mind immediately was for geospatial and geometrical data. I’m far from being an expert in that matter, but I would think that one could offload most of the calculations to a GPU. Both raster and vectorial maps can benefit the use of a GPU since it can handle both bitmaps and vectorial data like a real champion.

 Another use that I think might work is for indexing data. If you represent data using geometrical patterns, it would be thinkable to use a GPU to perform pattern matching in a very efficient manner due the highly parallel nature of those processing units. If you combine those patterns with set theory, you could define patterns that encompass the actual data. By combining geometrical pattern, those indices would be able to determine the data that is to be included in queries involving a wide range of aggregations and computations.

I’d be curious to see with the CLR integration in SQL Server, if one could call DirectX libraries to offload some work to a GPU.

Feel free to comment on the post, I’m learning and thinking out loud here! I’ll probably be posting more thoughts about this in the coming posts. I’m already thinking about applications for data minining and OLAP data…


3 thoughts on “GPU Accelerated Databases

  1. It took me only over 4 months to find your post.
    The crucial filter was you mentioning OLAP.
    General Purpose GPU (GP GPU), in my view, should be capable of supporting geo-spatial- temporal-multi-resolution- multi-spectral enablement of general OLAP. I also see such support becoming a core technology foundation for next generation Graphical Servers. I completely agree with ability of GP GPU to support highly-scalable pattern matching, but this would be possible only after OLAP enablement I’ve mentioned earlier. I will encourage you to talk to Geomatics Department at Laval University. Prof. Yvan Bedard and Prof. Thierry Badard to be more specific.

    Kindest regards,
    Arkady Godin
    MITRE Corporation, Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

  2. While reading your blog it seems that you research on this topic very much. I must tell you that your blog is very informative and it helps other also..

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