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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 26 — Sep. 10, 1999
  • pp: 5594–5604

Multiwavelength optical content-addressable parallel processor for high-speed parallel relational database processing

Peng Yin Choo, Abram Detofsky, and Ahmed Louri  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 26, pp. 5594-5604 (1999)

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We present a novel, to our knowledge, architecture for parallel database processing called the multiwavelength optical content-addressable parallel processor (MW-OCAPP). The MW-OCAPP is designed to provide efficient parallel data retrieval and processing by means of moving the bulk of database operations from electronics to optics. It combines a parallel model of computation with the many-degrees-of-processing freedom that light provides. The MW-OCAPP uses a polarization and wavelength-encoding scheme to achieve a high level of parallelism. Distinctive features of the proposed architecture include (1) the use of a multiwavelength encoding scheme to enhance processing parallelism, (2) multicomparand word-parallel bit-parallel equality and magnitude comparison with an execution time independent of the data size or the word size, (3) the implementation of a suite of 11 database primitives, and (4) multicomparand two-dimensional data processing. The MW-OCAPP architecture realizes 11 relational database primitives: difference, intersection, union, conditional selection, maximum, minimum, join, product, projection, division, and update. Most of these operations execute in constant time, independent of the data size. We outline the architectural concepts and motivation behind the MW-OCAPP’s design and describe the architecture required for implementing the equality and intersection–difference processing cores. Additionally, a physical demonstration of the multiwavelength equality operation is presented, and a performance analysis of the proposed system is provided.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(200.2610) Optics in computing : Free-space digital optics
(200.3050) Optics in computing : Information processing
(200.4540) Optics in computing : Optical content addressable memory processors
(200.4560) Optics in computing : Optical data processing
(200.4860) Optics in computing : Optical vector-matrix systems
(200.4960) Optics in computing : Parallel processing

Original Manuscript: October 27, 1998
Revised Manuscript: June 7, 1999
Published: September 10, 1999

Peng Yin Choo, Abram Detofsky, and Ahmed Louri, "Multiwavelength optical content-addressable parallel processor for high-speed parallel relational database processing," Appl. Opt. 38, 5594-5604 (1999)

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