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

Peng Yin Choo, Abram Detofsky, Ahmed Louri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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 manydegrees- 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5594-5604
Number of pages11
JournalApplied optics
Issue number26
StatePublished - Sep 10 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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