A startup called Pliops has emerged from stealth mode with a new way to do data processing. Rather than load data into main memory as is traditionally done, the Pliops technology offloads data and the application to a PCI Express card, and data is processed where it is stored, thus freeing up the CPU for other tasks.
It's called computational storage. The concept has been around for a while, but like so many technological ideas, it was ahead of its time. The technology needed to catch up to the concept. It could never be done with mechanical hard drives, and SSDs, too, needed to make gains. Recently, Samsung and Xilinx partnered to deliver a compute-on-storage SSD device that uses a Xilinx FPGA to offload the processing work.