Oracle Boosts Data Analytics with Free and Open Interfaces to On-Chip Accelerators

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Oracle has released a free and open API and developer kit for its Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) in SPARC processors through its Software in Silicon Developer Program.

The program also allows developers to view sample use cases and program code, and to test and validate how DAX can speed up analytics applications while test driving Software in Silicon Technology.

“High performance data analytics are critical to a range of key use cases like click stream data, social media sentiment, buying behavior, and more,” said John Fowler, executive vice president of Systems, Oracle. “Through our Software in Silicon Developer Program, developers can now apply our DAX technology to a broad spectrum of previously unsolvable challenges in the analytics space because we have integrated data analytics acceleration into processors, enabling unprecedented data scan rates of up to 170 billion rows per second.”

With the release of the 32-core, 256 thread SPARC M7 processor, Oracle created a number of Software in Silicon features by building in higher-level software functions into processor design, including DAX, which delivers greater analytics efficiency. DAX adds processing capability that can run selective functionality – scan, extract, select and translate – at high speeds. The SPARC M7 DAX accelerates these analytics primitives on a dedicated physical unit separate from the standard compute cores.

Initial software development enabled DAX for Oracle Database 12c, and all the applications above it. This extends analytics acceleration to all Oracle, ISV, and customer applications.

Large scale scan and filter operations are supported by transparent use of 32 dedicated DAX co-processors in the SPARC microprocessor which operate at memory bus speeds of up to 160 GB/s between cache and DRAM. These accelerators, implemented on-chip for the high performance and efficiency, can now be used by developers through APIs in Oracle Solaris 11, and applied to a variety of use cases.

According to Oracle, its engineers have shown that the DAX can accelerate Apache Spark. Through this project, engineers used the DAX with Apache Spark to take one billion rows of data in memory and filter it into a 3D cube so fast that interactive data analytics are now possible. Open APIs for Oracle’s Data Analytics Accelerator are now available for free via the Software in Silicon Cloud.