Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner

Hardware Reports

Modern in-memory databases profit greatly from new hardware technologies. For example, new processor generations allow for faster accesses to the data (e.g., AVX2), which in turn speeds up column scans
and allows users to query bigger tables in less time.

For this reason, we keep a close eye on what is happening in the hardware world. This includes improvements to current technologies, but also upcoming technologies like NVRAM or On-Die FPGAs.

Our findings are regularly condensed into our Hardware Report. Originally for internal use within the HyriseLab, we are now publishing the reports as we believe that there is a value for outside database researchers as well.

Please find our latest hardware reports below:

September 2016

  • The new generation of Intel Xeon Phi is no longer a coprocessor, but can run existing programs as a stand-alone processor. Fast MCDRAM with 400+ GB/s is used to speed up calculations
  • Additional companies, including HPE, Samsung, IBM, and Fujitsu are working on their own Non-Volatile Memory solutions. We give an overview over existing and upcoming technologies.
  • AMD gives some more information about upcoming server processor, which they hope can compete with Intel.
  • IBM’s new Power9 processor comes in Scale-Up and Scale-Out versions. Fast connections to external accelerators become increasingly important for IBM.

June 2016

  • Samsung first to produce sub-20nm DRAM
  • Everspin announces new NVRAM product, attached to memory bus, but still order of magnitude smaller than DRAM
  • IBM has breakthrough in another type of NVM, so-called Phase-Change Memory
  • NVMe over Fabrics will allow for fast access to remote SSDs
  • Intel releases Broadwell E7 processors
  • IBM refines Power roadmap

April 2016

  • 3D XPoint NVM roadmap shows projected system penetration
  • HPE sells battery-backed DRAM for “persistent” memory, increasing database performance
  • Intel releases midrange Broadwell Server CPUs
  • Intel demonstrates CPUs with integrated FPGA
  • Oracle allows for open access to Database Accelerator (DAX) coprocessor API
  • Intel moves their development cycle from a Tick-Tock-Cycle to Three-Step-Cycle for new processor generations

March 2016

  • Explanation of Power8’s SMT8 technology: Eight logical threads can be executed, but the scalability is limited and the last four threads only improve performance by 7%
  • Samsung mass-produces HBM2 on-chip DRAM with a bandwidth of 256 GB/s
  • Upcoming AMD Zen server processors will have up to 32 cores per processors and eight-channel DRAM memory
  • IBM selling machines with up to 32TB of RAM

Januar 2016

  • First Intel NVDIMMs will have a capacity of 512 GB per DIMM, Microsoft working on NVM-aware file systems
  • Omni-Path fabric launched
  • Google shows 100M-fold speedup with a quantum computer on selected benchmarks
  • Google, HPE, and Oracle work on open-source RISC-V processor
  • Intel finishes acquisition of FPGA producer Altera
  • Samsung produces 128GB DIMMs
  • AMD ships first ARM-based server CPU

November 2015

  • Oracle’s M7 architecture comes with hardware-supported database decompression and acceleration
  • HP and SanDisk partner to develop ReRAM, a type of non-volatile memory
  • Oracle tries to convince customers using IBM’s Power architecture to switch to Intel
  • Western Digital about to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion
  • SGI announces UV300-RL for Oracle Databases

October 2015

  • New memory technologies stack existing DRAM cells to increase the bandwidth of RAM. This can be beneficial especially for applications with high memory-level parallelism (such as GPUs or accelerators), but comes with a higher cost than existing DRAM.
  • Intel Broadwell server CPUs delayed to Q1/2 2016.
  • Intel about to release Software Guard Extensions (SGX), protecting application data from foreign code and physical access to servers.
  • Dell acquires EMC for $67B.