Microwave Usage in HFT

By Deane Barker on December 11, 2012

Microwave vies with fiber for fast finance transport: The world of high-frequency trading (HFT) gets more and more absurd every day. Now they’re using microwave repeaters instead of fibre-optic cable.  Based on my understanding of the situation, I think they’re doing this inside data centers, since microwave travels faster and can be beams point-to-point rather than having to snake a long a cable.  Yes, a few feet matters.

Such firms are finding that wireless microwave technology, despite being in use for more than half a century, can deliver data a few milliseconds faster than fiber-optic cable. As a result, the once-stagnant industry of microwave communications is finding itself in an “arms race” among vendors of new competitive offerings, said Mike Persico, CEO of financial exchange service provider Anova Technologies.

Think I’m kidding about a few feet mattering?  Read this post from back in September.

Traders pay to put their servers in the same building, and to make things fair, engineers scrupulously add extra lengths of cable to equalize the runs among all the servers.

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