Juniper Testing New Silicon for 4 Tbps Platform

Juniper’s core networking routers are set for a major speed boost that will more than double existing bandwidth capacities.

Juniper (NYSE: JNPR) said today that it is developing and testing a new generation of silicon for its T-series core routers that will enable their flagship T1600 platform to scale up to 4 Tbps.

The T1600 was introduced in 2007 with total capacity of 1.6 Tbps for a half rack, and 100 Gbps per slot. The new silicon will be an in-service upgrade for the T1600s that will provide users with 250 Gbps of bandwidth per slot.

Juniper plans to test the new silicon with customers this year, with the product scheduled to hit the market in 2011.

The new silicon is an additional effort beyond Juniper’s next-generation JUNOS Trio silicon technology that the company announced at the end of October 2009.

“This is an ASIC that we have developed ourselves and it’s built with 45 nanometer technology using the latest process geometries,” Alan Sardella, Juniper’s director of product marketing, told “There is a lot of parallel processing and pipelining and with each new generation of silicon there is also an ensuing capability to be more power efficient.”

Sardella added that the new silicon will also provide improved traffic-monitoring capabilities as well as improved diagnostics and self-healing features.

The design work for the next-generation silicon has already been completed, and Sardella noted that Juniper is now beginning to build out and test the technology.

Juniper markets its T-series routers to its service provider customers, which have recently begun to spend again. In Juniper’s recent fourth quarter fiscal 2009 earnings, the company reported improving results thanks in part to increased spending from service providers such as AT&T (NYSE: T).

The doubling of capacity in Juniper’s flagship router platform also comes at a key time competitively, as rival Cisco’s CRS-1 is reportedly also soon set for an upgrade.

While Sardella did not provide any details on other Juniper efforts to grow capacity, he hinted that more is to come.

“We are working on multiple projects that will address the varying needs of our core routing customers,” he said. “I can’t really talk about what they are, but … two and a half times the capacity for T-series is only one of those.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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