[ntp:questions] .1 Microsecond Synchronization

ScottyG scottg at pepex.net
Thu Jun 4 21:06:47 UTC 2009


Thanks everyone for pointing out the, let call it silliness of this 
requirement. Also thanks for all your quick responses.

I went back to the traders who defined this requirement. They do 
seem to think that they know what they want, it's just not what they 
are asking for. From my talks with them, the main goal is to be able 
to unravel what happened when a set of trades fail.

To do this the order in which market data was received and trades 
transmitted need to be maintained. I do know from their current log 
files that 1 ms is not fine enough for this and that on occasion .1 
ms is not good enough. They currently are using a feature of the 
processors that seems to return clock tick on the microprocessor 
(Some assembly language instruction). They have an algorithm for 
controlling the skew that occurs using this method. This seems to 
meet there needs in a single server scenario but when going across 
machines this will obviously not work.

What I would like to do is go back to them with reasonable 
expectations. 

What do you think you can achieve with let say 5,000-10,000 USD 
budget for each data center? Could we get 1 micro, 10 micro, 100 
micro, 1 milli?

One catch is the not all the data centers have access to roof space 
for us. One company claims that they can use CDMA as a source time. 
Does anyone know the implications of this? It seems that the time 
would be sourced from GPS and retransmitted via the cell towers. To 
me this brings up more potential delays but I am not an expert.

Scott


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