FPGA-based dynamically reconfigurable SQL query processing

Daniel Ziener, Florian Bauer, Andreas Becher, Christopher Dennl, Klaus Meyer-Wegener, Ute Schurfeld, Jürgen Teich, Jörg Stephan Vogt, Helmut Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we propose an FPGA-based SQL query processing approach exploiting the capabilities of partial dynamic reconfiguration of modern FPGAs. After the analysis of an incoming query, a query-specific hardware processing unit is generated on the fly and loaded on the FPGA for immediate query execution. For each query, a specialized hardware accelerator pipeline is composed and configured on the FPGA from a set of presynthesized hardware modules. These partially reconfigurable hardware modules are gathered in a library covering all major SQL operations like restrictions and aggregations, as well as more complex operations such as joins and sorts. Moreover, this holistic query processing approach in hardware supports different data processing strategies including row-as column-wise data processing in order to optimize data communication and processing. This article gives an overview of the proposed query processing methodology and the corresponding library of modules. Additionally, a performance analysis is introduced that is able to estimate the processing time of a query for different processing strategies and different communication and processing architecture configurations. With the help of this performance analysis, architectural bottlenecks may be exposed and future optimized architectures, besides the two prototypes presented here, may be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic partial reconfiguration
  • FPGA
  • Reconfigurable computing
  • SQL processing

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    Ziener, D., Bauer, F., Becher, A., Dennl, C., Meyer-Wegener, K., Schurfeld, U., ... Weber, H. (2016). FPGA-based dynamically reconfigurable SQL query processing. ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems, 9(4), [25]. https://doi.org/10.1145/2845087