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

A-Team Insight Blogs

Solarflare Leverages FPGAs for ApplicationOnload Engine

Solarflare Communications has announced its ApplicationOnload Engine (AOE) – combining 10gE networking with FPGA technology that allows trading applications to run fully on a network card, for the lowest latency.

Planned to ship in Q2, AOE is Solarflare’s response to wide customer demand, says CEO Russell Stern.  Already well established in financial markets firms with its network cards and OpenOnload technology – allowing kernel bypass communication between network and application memory – Stern says many customers asked for an on-card FPGA on which they can run code for even lower latency.

Solarflare expects to deliver AOE as both a basic platform – for trading firms to build their own applications, leveraging built-in network stacks for TCP/IP, UDP and sockets communications – and also with pre-built functionality, such as primary/backup data feed arbitration, symbol filtering, and exchange protocol support.  OpenOnload support for low-latency communication with server-based applications is also included.

Stern says that Solarflare will build up a catalog of third party certified applications, as well as sell through OEM relationships. As with OpenOnload’s support for standard socket communications, Solarflare is looking to make AOE very easy to program to by developers.

For now, Stern is not saying who is supplying the FPGA silicon, acknowledging it’s either Altera or Xilinx. That’s partly because the supplier might well change as the product is rolled out. Both vendors are “very competent” he says, but adds that his technical team currently prefer the development toolkit from one of them. AOE cards will feature up to four 10gE ports, and contain 16GB of RAM.

The company is working with six financial markets companies as early adopters – two of them being exchanges, and the rest being investment banks. Stern says the Solarflare has canvassed many of its 500+ customers and there is very strong demand for the FPGA functionality.

Solarflare isn’t the first, or only, vendor or offer networking and FPGAs on a single card – products already exist from Accelize, AdvancedIO Systems, BittWare, Fiberblaze and Intilop – but as a well established vendor for low-latency financial trading applications, and with a large customer base, its impact on the hardware accelerated application space could well be significant. Certainly, it’s a big boost and validation for FPGA adoption in financial markets.

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: Regulation and Risk as Data Management Drivers

This webinar has passed, but you can view the recording by registering here. As the regulatory onslaught continues, more forward-thinking financial institutions are seeking ways to build a data management and data governance framework that spans regulations and provides a methodology for expanding scope as the regulations continue to evolve. How can this be achieved?...

BLOG

EDI Adds Canadian Fixed Income Evaluated Pricing Service

Exchange Data International (EDI) has introduced a Canadian fixed income evaluated pricing service initially including five asset class and with three more to come over the next few months. EDI prices over 30,00 CAD fixed income securities on a daily basis and has started to deliver Canadian fixed income evaluated prices to some of the...

EVENT

RegTech Summit APAC Virtual

RegTech Summit APAC will explore the current regulatory environment in Asia Pacific, the impact of COVID on the RegTech industry and the extent to which the pandemic has acted a catalyst for RegTech adoption in financial markets.

GUIDE

Enterprise Data Management, 2010 Edition

The global regulatory community has become increasingly aware of the data management challenge within financial institutions, as it struggles with its own challenge of better tracking systemic risk across financial markets. The US regulator in particular is seemingly keen to kick off a standardisation process and also wants the regulatory community to begin collecting additional...