Cisco's EZ 400-Gig
That would seem to be one detail Ittai Kidron of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. got wrong in scooping Cisco on the news. His early report on the ASR 9000 said Cisco's QuantumFlow chip would be involved. (See Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash.)
(That's not meant to slight Kidron; in general, his report was spot on. And it's still possible that certain line cards will use QuantumFlow, I suppose.)
Cisco has already confirmed that the router won't do 400 Gbit/s per slot immediately, but that's just because the first line cards won't have that capacity. As has been theorized here, that's probably because EZchip's 100-Gbit/s network processor, the NP-4, won't be available until early next year, making a 2010 debut likely for the 400-Gbit/s capability. That would be in line with the ratification of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.3ba standard that will include 100-Gbit/s Ethernet.
What would be interesting is to see if the router, internally, is even ready for a 400-Gbit/s slot. What kind of backplane and switch fabric are in there? How much oversubscription is involved?
One source says the biggest innovations in the 400-Gbit/s claim are in the power and thermal disciplines. I'm expecting a massive green-tinged campaign when the NP4 line cards become available.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading