Linux server specialist Penguin Computing has jumped into the overclocked server fray with a new Altus server aimed at clock-hungry high frequency stock trading applications. At the HPC on Wall Street Conference in New York City this week, Penguin Computing is showing off its Altus 1750 server, which is built using Advanced …
Their apps are likely ultra low latency. So rather than not being properly parallelized yet (they likely have been, but only allocate one software thread per hardware threads & add more hardware to support more), they want the higher clock speed as these will respond more quickly, since they chew through the needed instructions that much faster) Subtle, but important, difference.
Not really overclocked
Actually, they are not really overclocked. Those are special parts that we created (mainly) for the financial industry.
The AMD Opteron 4100 Series processors are designed mainly for web/cloud where low power is the key. We created a special part with a higher TDP specifically for these types of customer needs.
Penguin did a great job of identifying the types of customers where this makes sense and is targeting that solution specifically to them. But the clocks are all stock, nothing is overclocked. That means full warranty, no worry about early silicon death because of too much juice.
Indeed, but I think that they already are. At least according to some of the rumours I've heard. Some outfits are using the kind of exotic gear normally associated with high speed low latency large scale signal processing. In London they're apparently all buying premises closer to the stock exchange because the cable lengths are shorter. How crazy is that!
It can only be a matter of time before governments outlaw the business. All these traders combined add up to a massive accident just waiting to happen in the blink of an eye.
I am increasingly alarmed by the idea that the success or failure of vast financial services depends on a few nanoseconds on clock edges. And now the cost of n* 126 watts over n*95 watts can tip that balance back the other way?
Does no-one else think something is out of control here? This is some sort of something-out-of-nothing flim-flam? It seems to me like the Laplace Transform of a ponzi scheme, escalating infinitesimals rather than volumes.
Oh, and it also seems like cheating. No-one made anything new, grew anything, or improved the lot of the masses. They just stuck a waterwheel in the flow of real commerce and are leeching off what other people do. Parasites.
How come Wall Street needs that much power?
Surely to calculate a fund manager's bonus they just think of a disgustingly high figure then double it?