Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Equity Trader Alert #2015 - 194
Nasdaq Reintroducing FPGA Order Entry Ports, Announcing Port and Pricing Updates for 2016


  • Pricing

Markets Impacted:

Contact Information:


Nasdaq plans to re-introduce Field Programmable Gate Array (“FPGA”) technology on all Nasdaq order entry port servers, including Dedicated OUCH. By taking advantage of hardware parallelism, FPGA technology is capable of processing more data packets during peak market conditions without the introduction of variable queuing latency resulting in more consistent, deterministic behavior.

Rollout Schedule:

December 11: A change freeze will be in effect for any Nasdaq port requests - adds, removes, modifications (BX and PSX are not impacted).

December 12-13: All Nasdaq shared and dedicated order entry servers will be upgraded with FPGA and tested over the weekend.

December 14: Nasdaq plans to enable all order entry servers for trading on FPGA.

December 15: Any port requests received during the change freeze will be effective for trading.

Pricing Changes – This change has been delayed until further notice

Pricing Changes

Effective Friday, January 1, 2016, pending filing with the SEC, Nasdaq will make the following changes to port fees:

  • Nasdaq OUCH, FIX Lite (FLITE), RASH and FIX order entry production ports will be $575 per port, per month
  • No fee changes will be applied to Nasdaq DROP, QIX, CTCI, FIX for non-trading activity and market data ports

Nasdaq OUCH Backup Ports in Carteret, NJ

In conjunction with the FPGA rollout, Nasdaq will offer local backup ports/IPs for all Nasdaq OUCH ports in the Carteret data center. These ports provide local redundancy and should only be used to cancel open orders or continue trading over a port in the event of an isolated Nasdaq hardware failure.

These ports are offered free of charge but Nasdaq will monitor activity and notify firms that are using these ports improperly. Please contact Trading Services to receive your firm’s Carteret backup OUCH ports.

Chicago DR Ports

As previously announced in ETA #2015-132, Nasdaq is offering optional Disaster Recovery/backup order entry and market data ports/IPs in Chicago, IL, in conjunction with the Disaster Recovery site move from Ashburn, VA. Similar to Ashburn ports, Chicago ports run hot-hot and will route orders to wherever the Nasdaq matching engine is running as primary.

Nasdaq is extending the free period for Disaster Recovery ports that was previously announced. Effective Monday, February 1, 2016, pending filing with the SEC, order entry and TCP ITCH ports for all three equities markets (Nasdaq, BX and PSX) will be assessed a $25 add-on fee per port where a Chicago back up has been requested. DR ports must be a mirror of an existing production port in Carteret.

Test Mode Ports

Nasdaq has historically provided test mode ports in the production environment which allow firms to test using the Nasdaq Test Symbols (ZXZZT, ZVZZT, etc.). These ports are useful for firms testing and validating messages but also utilize production resources (both infrastructure and engine capacity).

Effective Monday, February 1, 2016, pending filing with the SEC, Nasdaq will introduce a fee of $100 per test mode port per month. We encourage firms to cancel any test mode ports that are no longer needed prior to the fee liable date.

Please contact Trading Services for a list of your firms test mode ports.


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Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today's global capital markets. As the creator of the world's first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 90 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world's securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to approximately 3,900 total listings with a market value of approximately $13 trillion. To learn more, visit: