Quickstep is a next-generation relational data processing kernel that is being developed in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin. Quickstep aims to deliver efficient and sustainable data processing performance on current and future hardware by using a hardware-software co-design philosophy.

For the hardware available today, this means effectively exploiting large main memories, fast on-die CPU caches, highly parallel multi-core CPUs, and NVRAM storage technologies.

For the hardware available in the future, we aim to co-design hardware and software primitives that will allow data processing kernels to work on increasing amounts of data economically -- both from the raw performance perspective, and from the perspective of the energy consumed by data processing kernels.

Quickstep is now an Apache (incubating) open-source project! You can find the code here, and the main ASF website is here.

Team (current)


Publications and Software


Quickstep is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grants IIS-0963993 and IIS-1250886.

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