New Cisco ASR 9000 is using an off-the-shelf packet-processing chip

A story in Light Reading today confirmed that the new Cisco ASR 9000 is using an off-the-shelf packet-processing chip, a chip that is a member of the Cisco silicon brand labeled QuantumFlow. Light Reading states that a Cisco spokeswoman confirmed that the ASR 9000 supports a member of the QuantumFlow family of forwarding engines. Other Light Reading sources said the "QuantumFlow" in question is the NP-3c, a Cisco-specific variation of the EZchip's NP-3 device ("So, they can sort of, with a straight face, call it a custom processor," say the Light Reading sources).

Light Reading added, "It's hardly new for a marketing team to take liberties with language. But the QuantumFlow incident shows that Cisco remains sensitive about admitting it's using off-the-shelf packet-processing chips." Furthermore, a Light Reading source concluded, "This is a pretty strategic platform, so I can see why they wouldn't want to make people think they don't control the architecture." Related stories: Cisco's ASR 9000: All hat, no cattle? Chasing down a mystery: Some say the ASR 9000 won't be 6.4Tbps capable until 2010

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