Cisco Doubles the Capacity of ASR 9000

It’s one thing to have a routing platform that can scale to high capacity — it’s
quite another to actually have products that can actually deliver on the promise of that

Cisco today is rolling out its highest-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) line card,
sporting a total of sixteen 10 GbE ports that together deliver a whopping 160 Gbps of
throughput bandwidth.

The new line card is for
Cisco’s ASR (Aggregation Services Router) 9000 platform
, which debuted in Nov. 2008.
The new 16x10GbE card effectively doubles the capacity that Cisco had previously offered
to ASR 9000 customers.

With the new bandwidth capability, Cisco is taking aim at the growing market for
increased bandwidth and video content in particular. Cisco has
previously forecast
that by 2012, it expects to see half a
crossing the global network.

“When we originally announced this platform, it had a 4x10GbE line card; a couple of
months ago, we announced 8×10 GbE and today we are announcing 16×10 GbE,” Suraj Shetty,
vice president of worldwide service provider marketing, told “So
in span of less than a year, we’ve quadrupled the capacity of the platform.”

The ASR platform itself is no stranger to big numbers. The first product in the ASR
portfolio, the ASR 1000 debuted in January 2008, with Cisco CEO John Chambers claiming
the platform cost $250
million to develop
. Of that of development cost, $100 million came from the Quantum
Flow processor that powers the ASR platform, Cisco said.

But that may have been money well spent: Shetty explained that the Quantum Flow is
responsible for enabling Cisco to achieve its 16×10 GbE scale on the ASR 9000.

“Silicon innovation is where I think the challenge lies, to pack more and more 10 GbE
into a single line card,” Shetty said. “The Quantum Flow is the type of innovation built
by us as part of our investment in silicon, and that’s what helps us to drive this kind
of innovation and in a very short period of time, too.”

Shetty added that the ASR 9000 itself was architected from its inception to have up to
400 Gbps per slot of bandwidth throughput. The total capacity of the ASR 9000 is
specified by Cisco to be 6.4 terabits per second.

“Because it’s designed for up to 400 Gbps per slot, we still have from 160 to 400 Gbps
to grow, as technology enables and demand grows,” Shetty said.

From a competitive point of view, both Alcatel-Lucent and Juniper Networks have been busy in recent months making their own high-speed Ethernet announcements. Read the rest at

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