[Beowulf] Pricing and Trading Networks: Down is Up, Left is Right

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Feb 17 06:12:13 PST 2012

On 2/17/12 1:11 AM, "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> I don't know of any million dollar FPGAs.  Even space qualified big
>> Xilinx parts are about a tenth of that.
>Most software has a price of a couple of tens of thousands of dollars
>a month.
>The FPGA's are a multiple of that.
>the IBM websphere bla bla that can be used to parse market data and
>trade, it's around a $100k a year.
>Add some tens of thousands for additional functionality.

Are you talking about the software cost, not the hardware platform cost?
If so, I'd go for that.. The population of FPGA developers is probably
1/100 the number of conventional Von Neuman machine developers (in
whatever language).

Interestingly, such a scarcity does not translate to 100x higher pay.
Most of the surveys show that in terms of median compensation FPGA
designers get maybe 30-40% more than software developers.

I guess there's much more than 100x the demand for generalized software

I wonder if the same is true of GPU developers.  A slight premium in pay,
but not much.

>Getting a FPGA a tad higher clocked from Xilinx, say the first sample
>at 22 nm, is probably not cheap either.

The biggest, baddest Virtex 7 (XC7V2000TL2FLG1925E) is a mere $132k, qty 1
(drops to $127k in qty 1000)
(16 week lead time)

2 million logic cells 70 Mb onchip block ram, 3600 dsp slices, 28Gb/s
transceivers, etc.etc.etc.

To put it in a box with power supply and interfaces probably would set you
back a good chunk of a million dollars.


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