The continuous growth of main memory size allows modern data systems to process entire large scale datasets in memory. The increase in memory capacity, however, is not matched by proportional decrease in memory latency, causing a mismatch for in-memory processing. As a result, data movement through the memory hierarchy is now one of the main performance bottlenecks for main memory data systems. Database systems researchers have proposed several innovative solutions to minimize data movement and to make data access patterns hardware-aware. Nevertheless, all relevant rows and columns for a given query have to be moved through the memory hierarchy; hence, movement of large data sets is on the critical path.
In this paper, we present JAFAR, a Near-Data Processing (NDP) accelerator for pushing selects down to memory in modern column-stores. JAFAR implements the select operator and allows only qualifying data to travel up the memory hierarchy. Through a detailed simulation of JAFAR hardware we show that it has the potential to provide 9x improvement for selects in column-stores. In addition, we discuss both hardware and software challenges for using NDP in database systems as well as opportunities for further NDP accelerators to boost additional relational operators.