Processor speed is no longer dependent on clock speed but rather, on the degree of system parallelism. Modern server boards have many CPUs with several cores each. The HANA database is optimized to use the capabilities of multi-core processors in order to enable incredibly fast queries.
Parallelism can be achieved on different levels from the application level to query execution on the database level. Processing multiple queries at the same time is handled by multi-threaded applications which map each query to a single core. Query processing also involves data processing, i.e., the database needs to be queried in parallel. HANA distributes the workload across multiple cores of a single system.
Using column-based tables enables easier data partitioning, and parallel processing wherever allowed.
SAP HANA uses multi-core systems on different layers to achieve highly-parallelized query execution.