The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Q&A: RTI on The Value of a Millisecond, and How Jitter Fits In

Real-Time Innovations (RTI) recently held a seminar ‘Straight Talk About Low-Latency, The Value of a Millisecond’ which highlighted the relationship between the technical minutiae of low latency systems and the business issues related to electronic trading. caught up with John Akbari, Director of Financial Market Business Development at RTI, to find out some more about what was discussed, and to shed more light on the technicalities. How does latency directly impact the business of exchanges and brokerages?

John Akbari: The emphasis on “who has the best price?” and “who put that best price out first?” pushes the boundaries on price and time in a very measurable, exposed manner. Exchanges now compete on managing and relaying information on the order book.

Execution speeds among brokers, a key component of their value proposition, is keenly dependent on the speed or latency of not only their software, but the connections to exchanges. Tabb Group estimates that in 2008, 16% of all US institutional equity commissions are exposed to latency risk, totaling $2 billion in revenue.

ITT: With market data rates increasing, how is RTI working to minimize latency while sustaining data throughput?

JA: RTI is bringing into financial services the same software used in over 400 mission-critical applications in the US Navy, embedded medical systems, satellite control, and other defense applications. RTI dynamically exchanges descriptive information about the financial data being delivered, to minimize the biggest bottleneck of all: the overhead of packing and unpacking data between producers and consumers. We logically divide the network based on types of data being distributed and the interest of subscribers. Data is filtered by the actual values of the fields (bid, ask and the like), minimizing network load and CPU utilization. Best of all, all this power can be modified to achieve precisely the kind of speed and behavior each trader needs.

It’s all about delivering only the data needed, where needed, when needed.

ITT: A term that has increased usage is jitter. Can you explain what jitter is and what is the business relevance of it?

JA: Jitter refers to how consistently the software infrastructure performs. At market open, market close, and in response to significant news events, RTI is proving to be the market leader in responding to extreme system stress. For many high frequency arbitrage strategies, jitter is almost more important than latency, because significant money is made when volatility spikes. RTI handles slow consumers, noisy networks that lose data, and other extreme conditions.

ITT: And how is RTI working to minimize jitter in its messaging product?

JA: That’s one of our secret sauces. RTI designs and benchmarks with a keen focus on latency and jitter. We’ve been at it since 1996. For further information on RTI, or to find out when their next webinar is on this topic, visit or contact John Akbari directly at

Related content


Recorded Webinar: The evolution of market surveillance across sell-side and buy-side firms

Market surveillance is crucial, and in many cases a regulatory requirement, to ensuring orderly securities markets and sustaining confidence in trading. It can be breached and has become increasingly complex in the wake of the Covid pandemic, Brexit, and the emergence of new asset classes. This webinar will review the extent of market abuse in...


Cloud, Trading Infrastructure Modernisation, Digital Transformation Are Hot Topics at This Year’s TradingTech Summit Virtual

The three key themes of Cloud, Trading Infrastructure and Digital Transformation underpinned A-Team Group’s 2021 TradingTech Summit Virtual earlier this week, which brought together speakers and panellists from across the financial markets technology sector. Irina Sonich-Bright, Managing Director at Credit Suisse, in conversation with A-Team’s Andrew Delaney, started proceedings by giving an upbeat outlook on...


RegTech Summit Virtual

The RegTech Summit Virtual is a global online event that brings together an exceptional guest speaker line up of RegTech practitioners, regulators, start-ups and solution providers to collaborate and discuss innovative and effective approaches for building a better regulatory environment.


Trading Regulations Handbook 2021

In these unprecedented times, a carefully crafted trading infrastructure is crucial for capital markets participants. Yet, the impact of trading regulations on infrastructure can be difficult to manage. The Trading Regulations Handbook 2021 can help. It provides all the essentials you need to know about regulations impacting trading operations, data and technology. A-Team Group’s Trading...