High-frequency traders using hollow core fiber: Wall Street Journal

Dec. 15, 2020
At least one fiber network services supplier to the HFT space says that it has been using such fiber for two years.

The Wall Street Journal reports that high-frequency traders (HFTs) are using hollow-core fiber in their networks to reduce latency. At least one fiber network services supplier to the HFT space says that it has been using such fiber for two years.

As the name implies, hollow-core (or, sometimes, "holey") fiber features an empty core (see “The University of Southampton AirGuide Photonics program to investigate holey fiber”). The fact that light doesn’t have to travel through a solid material, in theory, would reduce latency by enabling light to travel through air. The article points out that Spread Networks built a fiber network based on conventional fiber in a direct line from New York to Chicago to enable low-latency connections for the financial community (see "Spread Networks improves latency on Chicago-New York route"); it’s latency performance was subsequently surpassed by microwave links, according to the article.

Reporter Alexander Osipovich lists Anova Financial Networks, McKay Brothers LLC, BSO Network Solutions Ltd., DRW Holdings LLC, and Jump Trading LLC as fiber network service providers using hollow-core fiber. Jump Trading, via its venture capital arm, is an investor in hollow-core fiber startup Lumenisity, according to the article (see “Startup Lumenisity unveils hollowcore fiber cables for DWDM applications, new funding”). OFS, which has worked to develop hollow-core fiber for some time, is also cited as a supplier of such fiber to HFT network services providers (for more on OFS’s work in this area, watch “Advances in hollow-core fiber cable from OFS”).

For related articles, visit the Optical Technologies Topic Center.

For more information on fiber cable and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

To stay abreast of fiber network deployments, subscribe to Lightwave’s Service Providers and Datacom/Data Center newsletters.