January 17, 2018

Oracle SPARC: Software & SQL in Silicon: What It Does and Why

Software in Silicon: Software features incorporated into Oracle's SPARC processors (e.g. M7, M8) provide increased security and higher performance for databases and software applications.

Software in Silicon is comprised of three very unique technology offerings: SQL in Silicon, Capacity in Silicon and Security in Silicon.

  • SQL in Silicon: SPARC systems added co-processors to all cores of the SPARC processors (e.g. M7, M8) that offload and accelerate important data functions, dramatically improving efficiency and performance of database applications. Critical functions accelerated by these new co-processors include memory de-compression (Capacity in Silicon), memory scan, range scan, filtering, and join assist. Offloading these functions to co-processors greatly increases the efficiency of each CPU core, lowers memory utilization, and enables up to 10x better database query performance. Oracle Database 12c In-Memory option fully supports this new capability in the current release. In addition, this new functionality is slated to be available to advanced developers to build the next generation of big data analytics platforms.
  • Capacity in Silicon: Using Capacity in Silicon. processors perform data decompression at full memory speeds, allowing large volumes of in-memory data to be kept in highly compressed format without incurring additional overhead for decompression when accessed. This means you can drastically increase the processing speed of analytics, allowing your applications to optimally process massive amounts of data while using the Oracle Database 12c In-Memory option - while executing OLTP transactions at top speed at the same time.
  • Security in Silicon: The Security in Silicon functions of SPARC M7, M8 continuously perform validity checks on every memory reference made by the processor without incurring performance overhead. Security in Silicon helps detect buffer overflow attacks made by malicious software, and enables applications such as the Oracle Database to identify and prevent erroneous memory accesses. The Security in Silicon technologies also encompass cryptographic instruction accelerators, which are integrated into each processor core of the SPARC M7 processor. These accelerators enable high-speed encryption/decryption for more than a dozen industry-standard ciphers.


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