The fundamental question I want to answer in my research is how to use FPGAs, and other custom hardware, to speed up database operations and data processing in the datacenter.
Previously I have been working on new ways of implementing high-throughput hash tables in FPGAs. I contributed to our IBEX project (database storage engine running on an FPGA) a hash table which performs fast Group By aggregation, and I worked on an FPGA-based memcached pipeline while on an internship at Xilinx Labs (see my Master thesis).
Prior to that I worked on annotation-based parallelization of objects in a distributed computing framework on top of Java and on distributed random number generation using the BlobSeer storage engine.
Looking for a thesis topic? We have several interesting projects and ideas suitable for Bachelor and Master thesis, or lab projects. If you are passionate about systems and want to explore hybrid designs in which hardware and software work together to deliver cutting edge performance, please send me an e-mail.
2017Accelerating Pattern Matching Queries in Hybrid CPU-FPGA Architectures. D. Sidler, Zs. Istvan, M. Ewaida, G. Alonso. To appear in Sigmod 2017
Low-Latency TCP/IP Stack for Data Center Applications. D. Sidler, Zs. Istvan, G. Alonso. 26th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL'16), Lausanne, Switzerland, September 2016. [pdf]
Runtime Parameterizable Regular Expression Operators for Databases. Zs. Istvan*, D. Sidler*, G. Alonso. (*=equal contribution).  The 24th IEEE International Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines (FCCM'16), May 2016. [pdf]
Consensus in a Box: Inexpensive Coordination in Hardware. Zs. Istvan, D. Sidler, G. Alonso, M. Vukolic. 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI '16), March 2016. [pdf] [slides + audio]
A Hash Table for Line Rate Data Processing. Zs. Istvan, G. Alonso, M. Blott, K. Vissers. ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRETS) - Special FPL'13 Issue, March 2015. [pdf]
Ibex -- An Intelligent Storage Engine with Support for Advanced SQL Off-loading. L. Woods, Zs. Istvan, G. Alonso. VLDB 2014, Hangzhou, China, September 2014. [pdf]
Histograms as a Side Effect of Data Movement for Big Data. Zs. Istvan, L. Woods, G. Alonso. 2014 ACM SIGMOD/PODS Conference (SIGMOD'14), Snowbird, Utah, US. [pdf]
A Flexible Hash Table Design For 10Gbps Key-value Stores on FPGAs. Zs. Istvan, G. Alonso, M. Blott, K. Vissers. 23rd International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL'13), Porto, Portugal, 2-4 September 2013. [pdf]
Achieving 10Gbps Line-rate Key-value Stores with FPGAs. M. Blott, K. Karras, L. Liu, K. Vissers, Zs. Istvan, J. Bar. 5th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud'13), San Jose, CA, 25-26 June 2013. [pdf] [slides]
Multi-threaded Active Objects. L. Henrio, F. Huet, Zs. Istvan. 15th International Conference on Coordination models and Languages (COORDINATION 2013), Firenze, Italy, 3-5 June 2013. [pdf]
Adapting Active Objects to Multicore Architectures. L. Henrio, F. Huet, Zs. Istvan, G. Sebestyen. International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Computing (ISPDC 2011). [pdf]
Demos and Posters
doppioDB: A Hardware Accelerated Database
for SIGMOD 2017, Chicago IL, 2017
Specialized Microservers for the Data Center
[Poster] for European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys'15), Bordeaux, France, 21-24 March 2015.
[Demo] for 25th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL'15), London, UK, September 2015.
Hybrid FPGA-accelerated SQL Query Processing
[Demo] for 23rd International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL'13), Porto, Portugal, 2-4 September 2013.
Research profile video
Advanced Systems Lab, Fall 2016 (Head Teaching Assistant) [website]In the past:
Data Modelling and Databases, Spring 2016 [website]
Advanced Systems Lab, Fall 2015 [website]
Programmieren und Problemlösen, Spring 2015 [website]
Advanced Systems Lab, Fall 2014 [website]
Programmieren und Problemlösen, Spring 2014 [website]
Advanced Systems Lab, Fall 2013 [website]
Data Modeling and Databases, Spring 2012 [website]
I am currently studying as a PhD student at the Systems Group at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gustavo Alonso. I have a Master's degree in Distributed Systems from ETH Zurich (2013), and an Engineering degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (2011).
Email: zsolt.istvan [at] inf.ethz.ch
Office: ETH Zurich, CAB E 78
CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 633 92 38