Cisco Touts Chip Breakthrough
Cisco says the “industry's first fully integrated and programmable networking chipset” has been five years in the making and was designed by a team of more than 100 developers, many of whom worked on the Silicon Packet Processor (SPP) that’s at the heart of the firm’s CRS-1 core router. The company also claims the chipset can perform up to 160 simultaneous processes, putting it “several generations beyond what is currently available in network processors.” (See Cisco Pushes CRS-1 and Cisco's CRS-1 Passes Our Test.)
The design team, says Cisco, has managed to increase the transistor capacity on the chip from 185 million on the CRS-1’s SPP to 800 million on the QuantumFlow processor. The new chipset is expected to appear initially in some new products rather than to be integrated into existing platforms.
But Cisco isn’t currently providing further comment on its plans for the souped-up silicon. It’s holding back on a lot of its details and strategic thinking until next week, when, according to its current advertising campaign, it plans to unveil a “breakthrough innovation that will improve the network for everyone.” (See Cisco's Big Splash.)
So why provide only a glimpse of QuantumFlow today? The pre-emptive announcement may be timed as a spoiler to today’s news from Cisco’s fiercest traditional IP equipment rival, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). (See Juniper Splits Out Its Control Plane.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading