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‘Tick To Trade’ Emerges As Latency Solution

The latency solution developed jointly by Solarflare and LDA Technologies has delivered a lower latency by figuring out how to push packets of information through their system faster and more directly, explains Ahmet Houssein, vice president of marketing at Solarflare.

Using the “tick-to-trade” method of picking up packets sent through a user datagram protocol (UDP), the combination of Solarflare’s network interface controller (NIC) and LDA’s transmission control protocol (TCP) hardware ships a stock tick through to algorithms in a high-frequency trader’s systems. The trader’s algorithm can then execute a trade based on that tick or stock value.

Solarflare and LDA’s latency solution is aimed at high-frequency traders.

“The faster you can make that trade, the faster and more accurate and effective you can be with that trade,” says Houssein. Solarflare and LDA have reduced the time for a transmission of such stock tick information to 120 nanoseconds.

In effect, capabilities or functions normally only in software are executed using hardware in the arrangement between Solarflare and LDA, particularly a field programmable gate array (FPGA). “You can program for the algorithm you want to execute, including extensions,” says Houssein. “Our relationship with LDA provides a capability for those algorithmic applications that can be extended to make decisions and make a trade faster. It solves the piece in the middle of the algorithm — and how fast the algorithm can respond to the tick or the trade.”

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