AlcaLu Routers Dress Down

After all that 100-Gbit/s talk, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is moving down to T1s.

New versions of the 7750 Service Router announced today, the 7750 SR-c12 and SR-c4, are targeting rural operators and non-telco customers such as utilities. In addition to being just plain smaller than the original 7750s, the new boxes support slower interfaces like T1/E1s and DS3/E3s. (See AlcaLu Adds Two Routers.)

You could say the 7750 is slumming.

What's interesting is that they use the same FP2 chipset that's in the normal 7750s -- the chipset that AlcaLu says will be on its 100-Gbit/s line cards next year. (See AlcaLu Readies 100GigE Cards .)

That might seem like overkill for a bunch of T1 ports, but the idea is to provide newfangled high-speed Ethernet alongside some of these older interfaces. AlcaLu's target customers here expect their Ethernet bandwidth needs to grow, but they've got some older interfaces that aren't likely to be retired.

AlcaLu is hoping the FP2 gives it an advantage here. "You might find 10-year-old routers that have the legacy support but don't scale up to 10-Gbit/s Ethernet," says Lindsay Newell, vice president of marketing for AlcaLu's IP division.

The new routers each have a forwarding capacity of 90 Gbit/s (that's 45 Gbit/s without double-counting). The SR-c4 is a smaller box than the SR-c12, and it's not shipping until the first half of 2010, whereas the SR-c12 has been shipping since July.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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