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Faster HFTs: Trading Under a Microsecond

Exablaze produces a network interface card with low-latency capabilities, clocked at under a microsecond.

Exablaze, based in Melbourne, Australia, has created a network interface card, a piece of hardware that connects a computer to a network, with capabilities that allow high-frequency trading to be executed in under a microsecond, called ExacNIC X4.

According to Dr. Greg Robinson, chairman at Exablaze, speeding up network components, like the network interface card, is one way to speed up trades outside of working on fibers or weblinks that connect to exchanges.

ExaNIC X4 reduces the jitter, or variability in the time it takes to get an order into an exchange, according to Robinson.

[Read: Trading Algo Patents: Will Firms Seek More Protection? to learn more.]

Robinson adds, “In the context of what’s been going on in the exchange world over the past few years, [there's been]a lot of infrastructure investment by the exchange venues to make the venues faster and to reduce the jitters. One microsecond or half a microsecond would not have been relevant to the market a few years ago, but with faster modern trading engines and tighter networking, it becomes more and more relevant."

The main aspect of the product is that it crosses the PCI (peripheral component interconnect) card, says Robinson. PCI cards enable network connectivity.

"We're pushing the boundaries of what we can do with a PCI card, as far as we can tell," comments Robinson.

ExaNIC X4 also includes capabilities for time stamping, time synchronization and network bridging, a way to aggregate networks. The product was initially created for Zomojo, a trading and technology firm based in Australia. Exablaze is owned by Zomojo.

Zarna Patel is a staff writer for InformationWeek's Financial Services brands, which include Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology. She received her B.A. in English and journalism from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences in ... View Full Bio

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