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Anova Readies Hybrid Laser/Millimetre-wave Low-Latency Network for Reliability

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Anova Technologies has teamed with AOptix to roll out low-latency networks based on an integrated combination of laser-through-air and millimetre wave technologies. The combination provides the low latency benefits of emerging wireless networks, with the reliability of fibre optic communications, making it attractive to algorithmic and high frequency trading operations.

Under their agreement, Chicago-based Anova will be the exclusive reseller of AOptix’s IntelliMax ULL-3000 to the financial markets, globally, and is also responsible for network design and operations. AOptix – founded in 2000 in California – has a history of selling into the defense and telecommunications sectors. The ULL-3000 is a joint development by Anova and AOptix.

A key attraction of the combined laser/millimetre wave approach, says Anova founder and CEO Mike Persico, is its reliability even under extreme weather conditions. The ULL-3000 transmits data via laser and millimetre wave simultaneously, automatically falling back from the primary laser channel to millimetre wave in rare circumstances when atmospherics interfere with laser transmission. Those atmospherics do not impact millimetre wave, so the combination – controlled by an FPGA chip – is ideal, says Persico.

Adding to reliability is the ULL-3000’s ability to cope with the rotation and sway of wireless towers, which are subject to wind interference. As a result, distances of up to 20 kilometres between towers can be achieved.

Hence, reliability is similar to that attained on land-based fibre optic circuits, but with up to 50% of the latency. Previously, trading firms deploying wireless networks – such as microwave – have been required to augment them with slower fibre optic networks to ensure reliability. 

Anova plans to deploy the ULL-3000 in the New Jersey area wireless network that it is currently building. New routes – such as direct to the NYSE Euronext’s Mahwah data centre – will be equipped from the outset, while existing routes will be retrofitted as needed.

Later this year, the two companies will deploy the technology – which Persico reckons represents the first major “new technology for wireless communications in 50 years” in the London marketplace. 

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