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Core router boasts up to 322Tbit/s throughput

Posted: 11 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:router? network? mobile data? processor?

CRS-3 core router

Cisco Systems has launched the CRS-3 core router, which handles 100Gbit/s streams and sports an aggregate throughput of up to 322Tbit/s.

AT&T Labs said it has tested the system in field trials as part of its plans to transition from 40- to 100Gbit/s backbone networks over the next few years. In February, industry groups gave updates about the status of work on first generation 100Gbit Ethernet and faster serial links for follow on products.

The CRS-3 provides as much as 3x the throughput of Cisco's existing CRS-1 core router, more than 5,000 of which are now in use with about 300 carriers. It aims to help service providers handle rising video and mobile data traffic.

Cisco said the CRS-3 will provide new levels of intelligence for routing traffic including automated capabilities to set up virtual private networks over cloud services. The system, now in field trials, will be available in the fall at prices starting at $90,000.

The CRS-3 is powered in part by an ASIC Cisco called the Quantum Flow Array Processor, six of which work in tandem in a single system. The name harkens back to the processor in a Cisco edge router launched in March 2008. Few details were immediately available about the chip.

In communications, "we are the Intel, Microsoft and Dell combination all together," said John Chambers, Cisco's CEO in a Web conference launching the CRS-3. "I have always believed you have to do your own silicon," he said.

Keith Cambron, president and CEO of AT&T Labs, said AT&T tested the CRS-3 handling a mix of 100-, 40- and 10Gbit traffic on a commercial link between Miami and New Orleans. "I am confident it can handle the traffic load with the error performance we wanted, and no co-channel interference," Cambron said in the teleconference.

"In 2008, we deployed a 40G backbone with the Cisco CRS-1 and we are already seeing routes where 40G is not enough," Cambron said. "We are putting in multi-lanes of 40G in some places [but] we are still a few years from finalizing plans [for 100G lanes]," he said.

AT&T's network handled 40 percent more traffic in 2009 than it did in the previous year, he added.

Cisco spent three years and an estimated $1.6 billion developing the CRS-3.

In October, Cisco competitor Juniper Networks rolled out a new generation of edge router products for service providers and large businesses. The Cisco CRS-3 will compete with core routers from Alcatel-Lucent and others.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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