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A snapshot of life as an FPGA engineer
Technology sits at the heart of everything we do at IMC. Our innovative trading systems make millions of trading decisions every day. But that’s only part of what makes IMC tick. Behind every trade, behind every technological breakthrough, are our people – including our talented team of engineers. Here, we share an insight into the key role of IMC’s FPGA engineers.

FPGA engineers at IMC

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are the backbone of our trading infrastructure at IMC. In fact, we’ve been using these high-speed, low-latency chips for over a decade to ensure we can react sooner to market events, and we’re still working at the cutting edge of FPGA design to help make sure our trading strategies remain best in class. 

As such, our FPGA design engineers play a critical role in IMC’s success as a market maker and provider of liquidity to buyers and sellers. These talented FPGA programmers and senior FPGA engineers are always kept on their toes in an environment where every nanosecond counts.

In other words, being an FPGA engineer at IMC is all about finding solutions to challenges as they arise, always balancing the trade-off between increased hardware and software performance and the cost of more engineering time. It’s this sort of day-to-day challenge that our agile and adaptable FPGA engineers love – that, and the quick feedback loops we pride ourselves on here at IMC.

Our FPGA technology stack

The FPGA tech stack – shared across IMC’s worldwide offices – includes SystemVerilog, Verilator, GoogleTest, C++, Python, and Xilinx. Of course, we’re always open to exploring and investing in other options if our FPGA experts believe a different solution would be a better fit. 

Our FPGA teams work with these tools alongside our other software and hardware engineers, as well as traders and researchers, to build and optimize the systems used on the frontlines of our business. From gathering technology requirements and developing FPGA hardware to deploying and testing systems, integrating software, and implementing APIs, our FPGA reverse engineering processes are varied and complex, but extremely rewarding for creative engineers and determined problem-solvers. 

An FPGA engineer’s typical career path

No two days are the same for an FPGA design engineer, so there are endless opportunities for our developers to grow existing and new skills, in programming and beyond. Not only are our FPGA teams constantly learning about the financial markets in which IMC technology is so closely embedded, but they also have the chance to take on a People Leader role, if their interests lie in mentoring or managing others. Alternatively, the Individual Contributor path is well suited to anyone who wants to keep a close focus on adding value to more complex projects.

Either way, our FPGA engineers can rely on the support of IMC’s open, collaborative, inspiring culture – and relish the responsibility and trust we place in our programmers’ talent and expertise.

IMC: A great fit for FPGA engineers

IMC is home to a diverse group of people working on a broad range of challenges in a dynamic and fast-paced industry – and FPGA engineers are right at the center of the action. While we can’t always predict what’ll be on tomorrow’s agenda, we can promise that our FPGA teams will always be pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with this powerful chip technology.