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A-Team Insight Blogs

Ultimate Trading Machine Proposes Record Tick-To-Trade Speed

Traders are being offered top speed tick-to-trade performance using a server engine from Solarflare, LDA Technologies and Penguin Computing. The server, nicknamed the Ultimate Trading Machine (UTM), can achieve a 98 nanosecond tick-to-trade time – the delay between receiving a market tick showing an opportunity to an algorithm, and sending the buy/sell order.

The UTM consists of a Relion XE1112 server from Penguin, XtremeScale network interface controllers (NICs) from Solarflare, and Xilinx Kintex UltraScale field programmable gate array (FPGA) integrated circuits from LDA. The machine achieved its 98 nanosecond record in STAC-T0 testing. STAC-T0 is a proposed benchmark from the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC), a standards body made up of over 300 financial institutions and over 50 vendors.

STAC director Peter Lankford explains: “STAC-T0 measures the time between transmission of simulated market data to the system and receipt of simulated orders from it, without the system performing any trading logic or market-specific protocol handling. The solution tested here had a maximum actionable latency of 98 nanoseconds, which is how long it takes the solution to start transmitting an order after all the algorithmically relevant portions of an inbound packet have been transmitted to the solution. This value incorporates a measurement uncertainty of +/- 2 nanoseconds.”

Solarflare user Rob D’Arco, CEO of Chicago based Rival Systems, comments: “Everyone wants to be at the top of the queue in a first-in, first-out matching engine, and traders can get to the top by being faster and smarter than the competition. Any time we can provide our clients a faster tick-to-trade time, they’re trading with a competitive advantage.”

The full UTM STAC report is can be viewed at

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