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In line with the insight that "One size" of databases will not t all application needs, the database community is currently exploring various alternatives to commodity, CPU-based system designs. One particular candidate in this trend are Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), programmable chips that allow tailor-made hardware designs optimized for specific systems, applications, or even user queries. With a focus on database use, this paper introduces into FPGA technology, demonstrates its potential, but also pinpoints some challenges that need to be addressed before FPGA-accelerated database systems can go mainstream.
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