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A pair of MIT graduate students is working on an interesting system they think can help speed the process of analyzing data without putting it on expensive DRAM. The project uses a cluster of flash drives to store the data, with each one connected to a field-programmable gate array, or FPGA. The FPGA is really the key because it can perform calculations on the data in place before it’s sent over the network to the main processor. The architecture could potentially underpin a functional interactive database system for budget-conscious, data-heavy fields such as science.

  1. Well, this is just fluff without any details. FPGAs have been used for so long, I’m sure there is some novel approach to this, just that this “article” doesn’t point that out…

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  2. Greg Knieriemen Thursday, January 30, 2014

    [DISCLOSURE: I work for HDS]

    Derrick: I’m surprised this is news to MIT. At Hitachi Data Systems, we already leverage FPGA’s in our HNAS to accelerate data management -as well as metadata management – which is critical for Big Data applications. This has been one of our critical innovations and is unique in the industry.

    Would be glad to brief you on this if interested.

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