In an effort to broaden the market for its terabit routing portfolio, Avici Systems last week unveiled its smallest core router yet, a device intended to address the needs of carriers expanding their IP backbones to smaller sites.In an effort to broaden the market for its terabit routing portfolio,\u00a0Avici Systems\u00a0last week unveiled its smallest core router yet, a device intended to address the needs of carriers expanding their IP backbones to smaller sites.The vendor rolled out the Quarter-rack Scalable Router (QSR), a 10-slot, 80G to 100G bit\/sec router that provides 10 10G bit\/sec interfaces in 1\/4 telco rack. The density and footprint of the QSR are designed to appeal to service providers requiring core router performance with minimal space and power consumption.Tier 2 carrier points of presence and international carriers fit that profile, according to Avici.The QSR sports the same distributed architecture as Avici's Terabit Switch Router and Stackable Switch Router, and shares all modules and software with the bigger, older routers. The QSR also features Avici's Non-Stop Routing technology for 99.999% reliability, a feature, Avici claims, that obviates the need to deploy a redundant router to back up the primary unit in case of failure.NSR saves all pertinent routing state on a backup route controller. Connectivity and "liveness" with peers is maintained while route controller failover is executed, Avici says.The NSR route controller is powered by a 867-MHz PowerPC processor. It sports 2G bytes of memory, supports up to 3 million BGP routes and performs self-monitoring or internal consistency checking.Avici also rolled out some new line cards for use with the QSR. They include a single-port OC-192c module that only takes up one chassis slot instead of two; a four-port OC-48c module; and a single-port 10G bit\/sec Ethernet line card.The new line cards enable the QSR to support up to 38 OC-192c or 10G bit\/sec Ethernet ports, and 152 OC-48s per 7-foot rack when that configuration employs two route controllers. This compares to 16 OC-192s, 16 10G bit\/sec Ethernets and 64 OC-48s per rack for Juniper's M-160, and 20 OC-192s and 80 OC-48s for Cisco's 12406.Analysts say Avici's challenge with the QSR is not so much a technological one as it is the general state of the core router market. Cisco and Juniper still dominate the market with a combined share greater than 90%, and the market overall has been in decline of late.Avici's core router market share is between 2% and 3%. Also, Alcatel is entering the market with a nonstop router, as well as deep pockets and established relationships with most major carriers.Avici has two customers - AT&T and Qwest - that account for 80% of the company's revenue."[Avici's] doing a lot of the right things," says Roz Roseboro of RHK. "It's a matter of if it's going to matter."