AFTAs 2017: Best New Technology Introduced Over the Last 12 Months: Infrastructure—Metamako

Kevin Covington, CEO, Metamako
Kevin Covington, CEO, Metamako

Sydney, Australia-based Metamako wins its first category in the AFTAs thanks to its E-Series of devices launched midway through last year, designed to run up to three field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) on a single platform, allowing end-users to dramatically improve their processing performance while simultaneously reducing their network latency. This is the first time this category has been on offer in the AFTAs, attracting seven strong entries.

Metamako, founded in 2013, is a provider of low-latency network devices designed to allow capital markets firms to simplify their network stacks, increase their network visibility, and support high-performance processing. The firm’s clients typically use its devices to gain a competitive advantage (in terms of speed and low latency) over other market participants, with market data replication performed in four nanoseconds and multiplexing in 69 nanoseconds.

A key area of differentiation for capital markets firms is their ability to connect to exchanges quickly and with minimal and predictable/consistent latency, a process known as determinism. And while pure speed and performance are basic requirements for most firms’ trading technologies, the need for programmability and configurability has become crucial in recent years, a trend that led to Metamako unveiling its E-Series devices, designed to run three FPGAs on a single platform, while maintaining the lowest possible latency. According to Metamako, the advantages of adding FPGAs to devices supporting trading activities include: greater speed, as there is no overhead when accessing memory; determinism or the ability to consistently and accurately predict latency; and performance by way of processing large data volumes at high speeds, by way of parallel processing. 

Metamako has been working with FPGA technology for a number of years. However, its E-Series can now run up to three FPGAs on a single device, providing users with increased processing power and super-fast connections directly to exchanges. And while the biggest limiter of data transmission speeds is cable length, having three FPGAs in close proximity on a single device dramatically reduces transmission times for trading firms looking to minimize latency. 
Metamako’s E-Series initiative allows user-firms to run multiple performance-sensitive applications on a single device—for example, trading algorithms, matching engines, pre-trade risk checks and market data processing can be run simultaneously at ultra-high speeds—while all three FPGAs can be configured to operate in concert, offering combined processing power to single trading strategies, while also supporting the running of larger, more complex applications.

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