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December 1, 2009

Altera designs Stratix IV FPGAs into XtremeData’s dbX analytics appliance

Claims to provide performance scaling from terabytes to petabytes

By CBR Staff Writer

Altera said that its Stratix IV FPGAs have been designed into XtremeData’s dbX family of database appliances designed specifically for the unconstrained analysis and exploration of large databases.

The company said that the dbX appliance is a fully integrated platform that incorporates components of an analysis system including storage, computing, interconnect network and database engine. The XtremeData computing module features SQL-in-Silicon hardware acceleration using a Stratix IV FPGA.

XtremeData has implemented Stratix IV FPGAs in a patented module In-Socket Accelerator (ISA), which is pin compatible with x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD, and can physically sit in the secondary CPU socket, the company said.

According to Altera, the Stratix IV FPGA-based ISA generates a 10X performance enhancements over the CPU, while reducing power consumption by one-third. FPGA-based hardware acceleration enables XtremeData’s dbX appliance to provide performance scaling from terabytes to petabytes.

The company claims that the dbX architecture leverages the best of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Linux server offerings, while integrating SQL acceleration. The database appliance is suitable in business intelligence (BI) research and decision support systems (DSS). Key SQL operations are accelerated inside Stratix IV FPGA, which allows the commodity server platform to generate radically processing throughput while reducing power consumption and data centre operating costs.

John Sakamoto, senior business unit director at Altera, said: Using Stratix IV FPGAs in this innovative new computer system greatly extends high-performance computing in database research and analysis applications across a wide range of markets. Stratix IV devices provide the ideal solution for the ever-increasing demands for FPGA-based processing power, while enabling XtremeData to easily and cost-effectively evolve the system performance of their dbX family.

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