Penryn's Got The Power For Wall Street Computing - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
11/14/2007
04:45 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Penryn's Got The Power For Wall Street Computing

A fascinating nugget hidden amid Intel's announcement of its 45-nm Penryn processors is just who really needs these powerful chips. Sure, PC gamers want the hot Core 2 Extreme QX9650. And enterprises everywhere more or less buy into the "better performance per watt" sell of the server-side Xeon Penryns. But the f

A fascinating nugget hidden amid Intel's announcement of its 45-nm Penryn processors is just who really needs these powerful chips. Sure, PC gamers want the hot Core 2 Extreme QX9650. And enterprises everywhere more or less buy into the "better performance per watt" sell of the server-side Xeon Penryns. But the folks for whom this stuff is like silicon heroin -- they can't live without it and they gotta have it now -- are the IT elite who run the data centers for the various stock exchanges.The reason is obvious: Today's stock exchanges handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second, and their demand for ever-more processing power simply can't be satisfied quickly enough. Indeed, stock exchanges like NASDAQ in New York are to computing today what the national supercomputer centers were in the 1980s and 1990s.

Namely, in decades past, government money drove the procurement of and spurred the development of the world's fastest machines. As the twenty-first century began, though, Federal dollars dried up. These days, it's the ascendant electronic exchanges which take the best that Intel and AMD can dish out. They're also the proving ground for grid and advanced interconnect technologies.

Take NASDAQ, which has seen a doubling in the number of transactions it handles in the past six months alone, according to Phil Marie, a senior vice president at the exchange. NASDAQ processes an astounding 124,000 transactions per second, of which 31,000 are stock trades.

Interestingly, NASDAQ is best able to do this by eschewing the old-style model of the centralized data center. Speaking at Intel's New York City Penryn launch event, Marie explained that NASDAQ has sold all its data centers and gone to a virtual data center model where they try to place all their facilities close to their customers. These satellite operations are then connected together via ultra-high-speed data links.

The objective: ensuring sub-millisecond execution rates.

So what we've got here is essentially a customer which demands real-time response in a hundred-thousand-plus (and growing) per second transaction-processing environment. Incredibly stressful, but also an incredibly important proving ground for every imaginable cutting-edge hardware and software technology out there.

Among that stuff, of course, are Intel's new 45-nm Xeons. Here's Intel's server processor roadmap:



Roadmap for the server leg of Intel's 45-nm processors. (Click picture to enlarge.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll