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Real-time Linux synchronizes electronic trading systems

Jan 11, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Real-time Linux specialist FSMLabs is shipping software that may help financial services companies retrofit their electronic trading systems for compliance with new time synchronization requirements in the U.S. and Europe. The company claims that the RTTimeSync add-on for its RTLinuxPro OS can keep nodes synchronized, whether running Linux or Windows.

FSMLabs describes RTTimeSync as “nanosecond timing synchronization” software that can keep all systems on a network synchronized, even in the absence of reliable connections to time sources such as GPS- or atomic clock-based network time servers. The modular add-on to FSMLabs's RTLinuxPro distribution requires no modification of device drivers or enterprise applications, according to the company.

Mike Cravens, FSMLabs's director of DOD (Department of Defense) business development, notes that RTTimeSync technology has seen four years of use in network-centric warfare operations. According to Cravens, “Military grade applications require nanosecond-level timing precision, and no failure or lapse in timing synchronization.”

FSMLabs decided to market RTTimeSync to financial services markets in light of new legislation governing equities trading systems in the U.S. and Europe — called Reg NMS (regulation national market system) and MiFID (markets in financial instruments directive), respectively. In the U.S., the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) mandates that all NMS-related systems be operational by Feb. 5, 2007, and in-use by May, according to FSMLabs.

FSMLabs CTO Cort Dougan stated, “Many people in the financial services industry thought that it was impossible to avoid clock-drift, but RTTimeSync guarantees nanosecond level time synchronization in clusters, distributed nodes, and grid computing. We expect an arms race to start soon in trading systems, where the fastest response will win out.”


RTTimeSync and RTLinuxPro are available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

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