Streams on Wires - A Query Compiler for FPGAs

René Müller, Jens Teubner, Gustavo Alonso. Streams on Wires - A Query Compiler for FPGAs. PVLDB, 2(1):229-240, 2009. [doi]


Taking advantage of many-core, heterogeneous hardware for data processing tasks is a difficult problem. In this paper, we consider the use of FPGAs for data stream processing as co-processors in many-core architectures. We present Glacier, a component library and compositional compiler that transforms continuous queries into logic circuits by composing library components on an operator-level basis. In the paper we consider selection, aggregation, grouping, as well as windowing operators, and discuss their design as modular elements.

We also show how significant performance improvements can be achieved by inserting the FPGA into the system’s data path (e.g., between the network interface and the host CPU). Our experiments show that queries on the FPGA can process streams at more than one million tuples per second and that they can do this directly from the network, removing much of the overhead of transferring the data to a conventional CPU.