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Celoxica Extends FPGAs to Transactions, HFT Futures

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With the release of its latest Container offering, Celoxica – an early adopter of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology for market data feed handling – is extending its functionality to handle transactional messages, such as outbound orders.

The focus of this new functionality – says Celoxica president Lee Staines – is to support trading of HFT futures strategies on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, IntercontinentalExchange, Eurex and Liffe markets.

Staines says that the Container term was actually coined by customers, and refers to the PCI Express cards hosting the FPGA chips, as well as feed handler code and APIs that programmers can interface to, in order to support their application logic.

Typically, one PCIe card is used to handle multiple inbound data feeds, and another is used for outbound order execution.  For outbound messaging, both FIX and binary protocols are supported.

The PCIe cards – which slot into standard x86-based servers – are built for Celoxica by partners, though all feature FPGAs from Xilinx.

Celoxica uses FPGAs in order to process and number of operations, such as line arbitration and filtering, session management and TCP/IP offload, avoiding use of the x86 CPU and any kernel processing.

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