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SWAP-C is a term typically used in military applications. For example developing the DARPA WNAN radio or the BBN hydra radio, we had to trade off Size, Weight, Power and Cost. I would also add performance to the mix. You typically optimize for one.

There are other factors which become important in designs, such as reliability (SpaceX we needed to design for radiation tolerance), but these are more niche applications.

In HFT we are developing low latency, high throughput designs, so we are going to trade all the SWAP-C components for performance. In HFT, we typically only care about Performance. This becomes important when selecting device families, setting optimization constraints and in the actual design.

I bring up this concept only because I will be discussing some design techniques for both Power/ cost conscious designs and HFT designs in future posts. In some cases there are overlaps and it’s important to understand different methods so that you might be able to mix and match to get the best possible design.

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