Due to ever increasing demand for fast processing of large analytical workloads, main memory column-oriented databases have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. In-memory databases eliminate the disk I/O barrier by storing the data in memory. In addition, they utilize a column-oriented data layout to offer a multi-core-friendly and memory-bandwidth-efficient processing scheme. On the other hand, recently, graphics processing units (GPUs) have emerged as powerful tools for general high-performance computing. GPUs are affordable and energy-efficient devices that deliver a massive computational power by utilizing a large number of cores and a high memory bandwidth. GPUs can be used as co-processors for query acceleration of in-memory databases. One of the main bottlenecks in GPU-acceleration of in-memory databases is the need for data to be transferred back and forward between GPU memory and RAM through a low-bandwidth PCIe bus. To address this problem, in this study, a new generation of in-memory databases is proposed that instead of keeping data in main memory stores it in GPU device memory.
(Pedram Ghodsnia: “An In-GPU-Memory Column-Oriented Database for Processing Analytical Workloads”, VLDB 2012 PhD Workshop, Istanbul, Turkey, August 2012. [PDF])