98 nanoseconds tick-to-trade networking: introducing the Ultimate Trading Machine

Solarflare, the market share leader in connecting trading servers to Ethernet networks; LDA Technologies, an FPGA product development firm; and Penguin Computing, a provider of custom and turnkey high performance computing, enterprise datacenter and cloud solutions; today announced record-breaking tick-to-trade networking performance for a server configuration they have nick-named the Ultimate Trading Machine.

Decreasing tick-to-trade latency is essential in electronic trading because it means improving the queue position of trades, which increases the probability of executing a trade. The Ultimate Trading Machine configured by LDA, Penguin, Solarflare and XILINX achieved 98-nanosecond tick-to-trade latency of network I/O in STAC-T0™ benchmark testing.*

STAC-T0 is a new proposed benchmark from the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC®), an organization that provides technology research and testing tools based on community-source standards. Peter Lankford, STAC Director, said: “STAC-T0 is the purest measure of how fast a platform can get critical information into and out of an application via UDP and TCP over Ethernet. STAC-T0 measures the time between transmission of simulated UDP market data to the system and receipt of simulated TCP orders from it, without the system performing any trading logic or market-specific protocol handling. When receiving 68-byte Ethernet frames at 1 gigabit per second, the solution tested here had a maximum Actionable Latency of 98 nanoseconds, which is how long it takes the solution to start transmitting an order after all the algorithmically relevant portions of an inbound packet have been transmitted to the solution. This value incorporates a measurement uncertainty of +/- 2 nanoseconds.”

The server used for this benchmark testing consists of a Penguin Computing Relion® XE1112 server with dual Intel® Xeon® Scalable (Skylake) processors, XtremeScale 8722 software-defined NICs from Solarflare, and Xilinx Kintex® UltraScale™ FPGAs running the LDA Lightspeed TCP™ core. Penguin Computing Relion XE1112 servers, configured as Ultimate Trading Machines, can be custom ordered today.

Chicago based Rival Systems has been using Solarflare NICs since 2015 to give its clients the performance they need to compete in the market.

“Everyone wants to be at the top of the queue in a first-in, first-out matching engine, and traders can get to the top by being faster and smarter than the competition,” said Rob D’Arco, CEO of Rival Systems.  “Anytime we can provide our clients a faster tick-to-trade time; they’re trading with a competitive advantage.” 

According to Ahmet Houssein, Vice President of Marketing at Solarflare, “The time interval between receiving a market tick showing an opportunity to an algorithm, and sending the buy/sell order is total tick-to-trade latency. The latency of network input-output is a crucial factor in total tick-to-trade latency. World record tick-to-trade network I/O performance—validated by the STAC-T0 benchmark—is made possible by technologies inside and outside Solarflare software defined NICs.”

“Our customers in the high-frequency trading industry have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of servers with Intel® Scalable processors,” said Jussi Kukkonen, VP, Advanced Solutions Group, Penguin Computing.  “The Ultimate Trading Machine project is proof that Penguin Computing continues to pioneer the delivery of new generations of solutions with leading-edge trading performance.”

* Maximum value reported for STAC-T0.β1.MEDRATE.A.ACTIONABLE. See the full STAC Report™ at www.STACresearch.com/news/2017/10/13/SFC170831

About STAC

STAC is a company that coordinates a community called the STAC Benchmark Council. The STAC Benchmark Council consists of over 300 financial institutions and more than 50 vendor organizations whose purpose is to explore technical challenges and solutions in financial services and to develop technology benchmark standards that are useful to financial organizations. User firms include the largest global banks, brokerage houses, exchanges, hedge funds, proprietary trading shops, and other market participants. Vendor firms include innovative manufacturers of processor, server, storage, and network hardware, as well as horizontal-market software providers and vertical specialists. Visit www.STACresearch.com to learn more.

About Penguin Computing

Penguin Computing is one of the largest private suppliers of enterprise, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions in North America. Penguin Computing pioneers the design and engineering of open technologies, including its efficient, high-density Tundra® platform for HPC and scale-out data center. Leveraging decades of experience, Penguin Computing delivers expert services and support, and also built and operates the leading, public HPC cloud service, Penguin Computing On-Demand™ (POD).

Penguin Computing has systems installed with more than 2,500 customers in 40 countries across eight major vertical markets. Visit www.penguincomputing.com to learn more about the company and follow @PenguinHPC on Twitter.

About LDA Technologies

LDA is a group of leading engineers that have been working together in various companies and on numerous projects spanning across multiple industries. A highly experienced and efficient team that formed over 15 years ago, well before the LDA itself, and that has extensive knowledge and years of experience designing products for different industries such as networking, information security, and trading. Learn more at www.ldatech.com

About Solarflare

Solarflare is pioneering server connectivity for neural-class networks. From silicon to firmware to software, Solarflare provides a comprehensive, integrated set of technologies for distributed, ultra-scale, software-defined datacenters.

The Solarflare XtremeScale Architecture is a design framework which includes a comprehensive suite of features for ultra-scale environments: High-bandwidth, ultra-low-latency, ultra-scale connectivity, software defined, secure with hardware firewalls, and instrumented for line-speed telemetry.

Solarflare solutions have earned a sterling reputation in financial services and are used by virtually every major global exchange, commercial bank and hedge fund. This exacting, regulated performance uniquely qualifies our solutions for use in ultra-scale applications in IoT, big data and artificial intelligence where low latency, robust security and insightful telemetrics are critical. Learn more at www.solarflare.com.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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