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Re: Will PostgreSQL get ported to CUDA?

From: "Dann Corbit" <DCorbit(at)connx(dot)com>
To: "Christopher Browne" <cbbrowne(at)gmail(dot)com>,<pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Will PostgreSQL get ported to CUDA?
Date: 2008-01-30 20:56:45
Message-ID: D425483C2C5C9F49B5B7A41F8944154701000C1A@postal.corporate.connx.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pgsql-hackers-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org [mailto:pgsql-hackers-
> owner(at)postgresql(dot)org] On Behalf Of Christopher Browne
> Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:56 AM
> To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
> Subject: [HACKERS] Will PostgreSQL get ported to CUDA?
> 
> 2008/1/30 Dann Corbit <DCorbit(at)connx(dot)com>:
>
http://www.scientificcomputing.com/ShowPR~PUBCODE~030~ACCT~3000000100~IS
SU
> E~0801~RELTYPE~HPCC~PRODCODE~00000000~PRODLETT~C.html
> >
> > http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn.html
> >
> > http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_get.html
> 
> Someone at CMU has tried this, somewhat fruitfully.
> 
> http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/ngm/15-823/project/Draft.pdf
> http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/ngm/15-823/project/Final.pdf
> 
> This was based on GPUSort:
> http://gamma.cs.unc.edu/GPUSORT/
> 
> Unfortunately, the licensing of GPUSort is, if anything, more awful
> than that for CUDA.
> http://gamma.cs.unc.edu/GPUSORT/terms.html
> 
> This would need to get pretty totally reimplemented to be useful with
> PostgreSQL.  Happily, we actually have some evidence that the exercise
> would be of some value.  Further, it looks to me like the
> implementation that was done was done in a pretty naive way.
> Something done more seriously would likely be radically better...

It's too bad that they have a restrictive license.

Perhaps there is an opportunity to create an "information appliance"
that contains a special build of PostgreSQL, a nice heap of super-speedy
disk, and a big pile of GPUs for sort and merge type operations.  The
thing that seems nice to me about this idea is that you would have a
very stable test platform (all hardware and software combinations would
be known and thoroughly tested) and you might also get some extreme
performance.

I guess that a better sort than GPUSort could be written from scratch,
but legal entanglements with the use of the graphics cards may make the
whole concept DOA.


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