Intel targets high frequency traders with latest server processors

Intel targets high frequency traders with latest server processors

Chip giant Intel has begun hawking its new Xeon processor 5600 and 7500 series' to the financial services community, boasting of benefits in risk management, latency and data and order throughput.

Intel says Xeon 7500 processors have an average performance three times that of the existing 7400 series while the Xeon 5600 can deliver up to 60% performance improvement over the 5500.

The extra speed comes mainly thanks to smaller, faster and more energy-efficient transistors, improving performance and reducing energy consumption of the chip overall. This makes them ideal for deployment in trading environments as the faster processing speeds will feed directly into the demands of latency sensitive trading activities, says the vendor.

The processors are the "culmination" of the firm's Nehalem-Ex chip design that has been tapped by Nyse Technologies.

Anthony Warden, ED global head, algorithmic trading and quant prime broker technology, Nomura, says: "Compared to the last-generation Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, early analysis of the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series shows an approximate 35% reduction in latency. With this improvement, our clients are able to process even more orders in a given timeframe where they see market opportunity."

Intel is working with several fintech vendors, including Algorithmics, Kx Systems, ITRS, Cinnober, Orc Software and Thomson Reuters to help ensure their products can fully utilise the new processors.

Bob Boetcher, senior director, Algorithmics Risk Solutions, says: "The 1.56 performance increase experienced by Algorithmics' counterparty credit risk solution running with Intel Xeon 5600 versus Intel Xeon 5500, has an immediate impact on execution time, allowing more timely calculation of risk, and analysis of deeper, more complex data sets, in turn improving the granularity and accuracy of risk management metrics."

Jim Saunders, global head, trading and risk management product development, Thomson Reuters, adds: "Industry-standard servers (X86) are now the de facto future platform for many banks, from global institutions to small banks in emerging markets, based on their high performance, low latency, reduced capex and opex costs, and energy efficiency. Initial tests with Intel's four socket Xeon 7500-based systems have demonstrated a performance improvement by a factor of three, compared with the two-socket Intel Xeon processor 5500 series."

Rival AMD's recently launched Opteron 6000 chips have also won admiring testimonials from prospective users. The firms is pitching against Intel on price/performance, claiming to offer more bang per buck. HP, Dell, Cray, SGI and Acer are among those introducing new systems based on the 6000s, which are either eight or 12-core processors.

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