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Kickfire, Inc.
Industry Enterprise software
Database management
Data warehousing
Founded 2006
Headquarters Santa Clara, California
Products Kickfire Analytic Appliance

Kickfire, Inc. was an American analytic database appliance manufacturer.[1] It was acquired by Teradata in August 2010.[2] The Kickfire appliance utilized field-programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware acceleration techniques for SQL databases.


Kickfire was founded in 2006 by CTO Joseph Chamdani and first president Raj Cherabuddi. The first round of venture capital funding included investors Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, and the Mayfield Fund. A second $20 million round of funding in July 2008 included additional Pinnacle Ventures.[3] Bruce Armstrong became CEO in November 2008.[4]

Kickfire's product implemented a column store, which increased performance of sequential record access at the expense of common transactional operations such as single record retrieval, updates, and deletes.[5] It used MySQL integrated as a storage engine plug-in, with modifications to the optimizer to allow query rewrite optimizations over a column store. Hardware included an FPGA-based "Query Processor Module" which attached via external PCI-X bus to a base Linux server module. The QPM featured a dataflow architecture and implemented relational algebra in run time reconfigurable hardware for SQL join execution. Data compression reduced I/O bandwidth requirements. High compression is possible because columns of homogeneous datatype are stored together and because updates to the main store are batched.[6]

The base server module ("BSM") used a version of CentOS for its operating system. The QPM integrated with the BSM via Kickfire software. Kickfire breaks SQL statements into hardware "tasks" which can be executed in parallel on the specialized hardware resulting in substantial performance improvement on certain types of SQL queries, such as the TPC-H benchmark from the Transaction Processing Performance Council.[7] Kickfire submitted a result for TPC-H in 2008, but it was withdrawn in 2011 for non-compliance.[8]

In August 2010, Kickfire was acquired by the data warehousing company Teradata.[2][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Information Week "Data Warehouse Market Heats Up”
  2. ^ a b "Teradata buys analytics vendor Kickfire". Info World. August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kickfire Raises $20 Million in Series B Financing". Press release. July 30, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kickfire Appoints Database Industry Veteran Bruce Armstrong as Chairman and CEO". Press release (Kickfire). November 11, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ Monash, C: "Are row-oriented RDBMS obsolete?" [1] DBMS2, January 22, 2007
  6. ^ Monash, C: "Mike Stonebraker on database compression – comments”,[2]DBMS2, March 24, 2007
  7. ^ "New Database Appliance from Kickfire Propels Sun Microsystems’ MySQL to Number One in Data Warehousing Price-Performance". Press release. April 14, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Kickfire Appliance 2400". 'Transaction Processing Council Benchmark Results. May 5, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ Chris Kanaracus (August 10, 2010). "Teradata quietly scoops up Kickfire". Computer World. Retrieved August 16, 2013.