Friday, November 11, 2011

10GBPS NIC and Optical Fiber for High Frequency Trading

The 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GE or 10GbE or 10 GigE) computer networking standard was first published in 2002. It defines a version of Ethernet with a nominal data rate of 10 Gbit/s (billion bits per second), ten times faster than gigabit Ethernet.
10 gigabit Ethernet defines only full duplex point to point links which are generally connected by network switches. Half duplex operation, hubs and CSMA/CD (carrier sense multiple access with collision detection) do not exist in 10GbE.
The 10 gigabit Ethernet standard encompasses a number of different physical layer (PHY) standards. A networking device may support different PHY types through pluggable PHY modules, such as those based on SFP+. Over time market forces will determine the most popular 10GE PHY types.[1]
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10GBPS NIC cards

For high frequency traders network cards need to be carefully selected as well. 10gbps NIC can effectively outperform 1gbps cards. however it is reminded that 10gbps nic need to have 10gbps switch and optical fiber as whole solution, otherwise the speed gain will be restricted by bottle neck of any of these three.
10GBPS NIC Adaptors

Currently Dell and other OEM pc/server manufacturers provide offload features to their Network cards to save CPU power for socket data processing. the 10gbps ethernet cards provide further offload capabilities with build-in FPGA chips to bypass CPU and TCP/IP stack as much as possible. for example SolarFlare provide OpenOnLoad drivers to boost performance and their products have been implemented with many exchanges and HFT firms.

A typical performance figure with 1GBPS cards, the network latency is around 50 to 70 micro-seconds while a 10GBPS NIC from SolarFlare can reach around 5 micro-seconds.

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