Optical content-addressable parallel processor for high-speed database processing

Ahmed Louri, James A. Hatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We extend the concept of optical content-addressable parallel processing [Appl. Opt. 31, 3241 (1992)] to a novel architecture designed specifically for the parallel and high-speed implementation of database operations called optical content-addressable parallel processor for relational database processing (OCAPPRP). An OCAPPRP combines a parallel model of computation, associative processing, with parallel and high-speed technology optics. The architecture is developed to provide optimal support for high-speed parallel equivalence (pattern matching) and relative-magnitude searches (greater than and lesser than). Distinctive features of the proposed architecture include (1) a two-dimensional matchcompare unit for two-dimensional pattern matching, (2) constant-time retrieval of database entries, (3) an optical word and bit-parallel relative-magnitude single-step algorithm, and (4) the capability of constanttime sorting. Since relational database operations rely heavily on parallel equivalence or relativemagnitude searches, database processing is an excellent candidate for implementation on an OCAPPRP. The architecture delivers a speedup factor of n over conventional optical database architectures, where n is the number of rows in a database table. We present an overview of the architecture followed by its optical implementation. The representative relational database operations, intersection, and selection are outlined to illustrate the architecture's potential for efficiently supporting high-speed database processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8153-8163
Number of pages11
JournalApplied optics
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 10 1994


  • Content-addressable memories
  • Optical computing
  • Optical content-addressable parallel processor
  • Optical contentaddressable memories
  • Relational operations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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