Wall Street Eyes Hardware Acceleration
March 23rd, 2009 By: Rich Miller
Hardware acceleration is gaining traction as a tool for speeding up trading analytics and market data, according to Ivy Schmerken at Wall Street & Technology, who summarizes some of the discussion at last week’s Accelerating Wall Street event in New York. Financial firms continue to seek ways to wring extra microseconds of performance out of their low latency trading operations, but are in the early stages of adoption on hardware acceleration.
Hardware acceleration addresses computationally-intensive software processes that task the CPU, incorporating special-purpose hardware such as a graphics processing unit (GPUs) or field programmable gate array (FPGA) to shift parallel software functions to the hardware level. That’s a very basic description; James Hamilton recently wrote at length about these concepts.
Why is hardware acceleration important? One quote from Thursday’s event will be of interest to data center providers with financial clients. “The value proposition is not just to sustain speed at peak but also a reduction in rack space at the data center,” Adam Honore, senior analyst at Aite Group, told WS&T. Depending on the specific application, Honore said a hardware appliance can reduce the amount of rack space by 10-to-1 or 20-to-1in certain market data and some options events. Thus, a trend that bears watching for data center providers.