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Artha Provides Glimpse into Planned Trading Appliances; Will Leverage FPGAs and Network Packet Processors

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Startup Artha Financial Technology is emerging a little from stealth mode to provide a few details of what it plans to be shipping early in 2012. Founded by Manoj Viswambharan, former head of the FPGA development team for the Global Arbitrage Trading group at Credit Suisse, Artha plans to deliver trading system appliances based on FPGAs and multi-core network packet processors.

Viswambharan says that Artha is developing a range of ” ultra low-latency hardware accelerated DMA trading products,” so as to be able to provide a complete solution for trading, from 10 gigabit/second line rate market data feed handlers. to exchange gateways, with a “sub three microsecond tick to trade capability.”

Artha’s hybrid technology approach is the result of experience Viswambharan gained at Credit Suisse, including testing offerings from Celoxica and Redline Trading Solutons. In particular, he determined that solutions based solely on FPGAs suffered from slow development processes – he reckons FPGAs can require 4x to 100x longer development, compared to software based solutions. But he also found that embedded processor solutions lacked the performance and determinism of FPGAs.

Artha’s solutions are based on a combination of FPGAs and multi-core network packet processors. This leverages FPGAs for speed and determinism, and C-programmable network packet processors for their flexibility, and fast development capabilities

[Network packet processors are software-programmable microprocessors designed for networking-related functions, and typically found in network routers and switches, firewalls and monitoring appliances.]

The goal, says Viswambharan, is to not rely on a single technology, but to use the best combination of technologies to solve the underlying problems. The company also has the capability to design custom silicon (ASICs) to reduce latency even further in future generation products.

Artha is privately held and based in New Jersey. In Sanskrit, “Artha” means the duty of the head of a household to acquire wealth through honest means.  More – soon – at www.artha-tech.com.

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