FPGA-based accelerator is purpose built for electronic trading

Designed for low latency electronic trading applications, AMD’s Alveo fintech accelerator card executes at nanosecond speeds and AI-enabled trading strategies.

The AMD Alveo UL3524 accelerator card delivers a seven times latency improvement over prior generation FPGA technology, said AMD, achieving less than 3ns FPGA transceiver latency for accelerated trade execution. Powered by a custom 16nm Virtex UltraScale+ FPGA, it features a novel transceiver architecture with hardened, optimised network connectivity cores to achieve breakthrough performance. 

“In ultra-low latency trading, a nanosecond can determine the difference between a profitable or losing trade,” said Hamid Salehi, director of product marketing at AMD. 

Featuring 64 low latency transceivers, 780K LUTs of FPGA fabric, and 1,680 DSP slices of compute, the Alveo UL3254 is built to accelerate custom trading algorithms in hardware, where traders can tailor their design to evolving strategies and market conditions. Supported by traditional FPGA flows using Vivado Design Suite, the Alveo UL3254 comes with a suite of reference designs and performance benchmarks that allow FPGA designers to quickly explore key metrics and develop custom trading strategies to specification and with support from AMD domain experts. 

To simplify the increasing adoption of AI in the algorithmic trading market, AMD is providing developers with the open-sourced and community-supported FINN development framework. By using PyTorch and neural network quantisation techniques, the FINN project enables developers to reduce the size of the AI models while retaining accuracy, compiling to hardware IP, and integrating the network model into the algorithm’s datapath for low latency performance. 

Currently available partner solutions include offerings from Alpha Data, Exegy, and Hypertec. For example, the AMD Virtex UltraScale+ VU2P FPGA which powers the Alveo UL3524 accelerator card is enabling ultra-low latency appliances from Alpha Data. 

“We’ve developed the ADA-R9100 rack-mount appliance which allows customers to easily access the full potential of the new AMD FPGA device,” said David Miller, managing director of Alpha Data.

Exegy, a provider of end-to-end, front-office trading solutions, is supporting the Alveo UL3524 card with its nxFramework, a software and hardware development environment tailored for creating and maintaining ultra-low latency FPGA applications within the financial industry.   

Hypertec has optimised its Orion HF X410R-G6 high frequency server for the Alveo UL3524 with a custom cooling system to deploy in a 1U server form factor.   

The AMD Alveo UL3524 accelerator card is currently in production and shipping to financial services customers.


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