News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

  • December 11, 2017

Show me what my Software in Silicon is doing

Chris Beal
Senior Principal Software Engineer

One of the very coolest things about Oracle SPARC is Oracle's ability to engineer the processor to do what the software really needs. This moves intensive processing from general purpose compute cores, to special purpose pipelines. As these are designed to do just a small number of things, they are simple, fast, and we can have a lot of them. Trouble is, how do you know they're really doing something.One of the most impressive of these is Database Analytics Acceleration (DAX). This was introduced in M7 and continues to be enhanced in M8.

As an analogy, I'm sitting at my desk, with my eyes shut.

Boss: What are you doing?

Me: Thinking

How does my boss know I'm doing anything at all?

For for Software in Silicon we can ask the same question

Me: M8, What are database analytics accelerated queries are you doing?

M8: <silence>

Well M8 can't talk really.

We can however ask the M8 a more sensible question

One of our colleagues, Vince Carbone, wrote this rather nice blog. Talking about what DAX is, and how you can use daxstat to give us some idea how much work is being offloaded to the DAX processors. His blog actually focuses on what is available in M7. There are further enhancements in M8 which will be the subject of a future blog.


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