Wall Street FPGA Introduces Hardware Accelerated FIX Solutions

17 November 2010

New York-based boutique financial technology firm Wall Street FPGA announced today the ability to significantly accelerate trading software. Speed makes trading strategies more profitable and helps identify new trading opportunities.

Using Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, Wall Street FPGA accelerates the industry standard Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol. "We have a working prototype where we significantly accelerate QuickFIX, the open source FIX Engine, using an FPGA," said John Stratoudakis, Founder and Director of Research at Wall Street FPGA.

The prototype creates a scenario where a broker/dealer wishes to quickly cancel open/unexecuted orders from a trading venue such an exchange. Two PCs, each running QuickFIX, are directly connected to each other.

1. The broker/dealer PC sends several trade orders to the exchange PC where the orders remain open and do not execute.
2. The network card of the broker/dealer PC has a customized FPGA which retains open order info.
3. Upon receipt of a trigger, the FPGA generates FIX Order Cancel messages and sends them to the exchange PC.

Ordinarily, the QuickFIX software on the broker/dealer PC would generate the FIX Order Cancel messages and then send them to the network card for transmission. Using the Wall Street FPGA groundbreaking prototype, generating the FIX Order Cancel messages within the FPGA based network card dramatically accelerates parts of the QuickFIX software.

The Order Cancel System protects client's money during uncertain market conditions in the form of a personal circuit breaker. For example, a single day drop of 100 points of the Dow Jones Industrial Average could trigger an order cancel, safely and quickly exiting a volatile market. The prototype could be expanded for use by Market Makers wherein open/unexecuted orders are canceled & replaced to adjust to rapidly changing market conditions.

The prototype shows the exceptional ability of Wall Street FPGA to quickly develop and deliver hardware accelerated, low latency trading solutions that adhere to industry standard communication protocols such as FIX.

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