High-frequency traders need speedy hardware in order to gain a microsecond advantage over their competitors on the financial markets. Last week, Supermicro debuted a high-frequency server, equipped with the Intel E5-2687W processor, designed to deliver lower latency and thus faster action. Not to be outdone, Dell is announcing its own technology for Dell PowerEdge servers, designed to accelerate processor performance by up to 31 percent for high-frequency trading.
Dell’s Processor Acceleration Technology is a new BIOS firmware update that can be downloaded for the PowerEdge R620, R720 or R720xd with the Intel E5-2690 processor. It’s free, and apparently doesn’t affect the warranty.
Dell met with a number of high-frequency trading firms about their needs for a server, according to Brian Payne, executive director of Dell’s PowerEdge platforms. That input resulted in an update that aims to deliver “higher frequency, more consistency and predictable levels of performance, in a customizable implementation.”
The Dell PAT technology allows flexible control of Intel’s Turbo Boost technology in specific rack configurations. It locks in an active frequency by setting the number of available cores and using all of the available cache, even that of inactive cores. It also minimizes jitter, caused by the usual transitions in and out of standard turbo mode. In theory, that translates into smoother performance for traders.
The PAT solution is designed to work with all supported operating systems for PowerEdge 12th generation servers and also supports Dell’s agent-free OpenManage Essentials monitoring solutions, Dell added.
High-frequency trading has changed Wall Street, and vacuumed up enormous profits for those traders who’ve implemented the appropriate hardware and software. That being said, high-speed algorithms have also been blamed for bizarre market activity, including the May 2010 “Flash Crash.”