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Cisco yesterday took the wraps off its fastest router to date. The Cisco Carrier Routing System Cisco CRS-1 is designed to be a cornerstone for telcos to roll out next generation data, voice and video services over converged IP networks. Cisco reckons carriers who upgrade their core networks with the technology won't need to upgrade again for up to ten years.

The Cisco CRS-1 incorporates various upgrades to Cisco's core router hardware and software technologies including: Cisco IOS XR, a major revision of the networking giant's operating system designed for carrier systems; system capacity of up to 92Tbps and Cisco Silicon Packet Processor (SPP), a sophisticated 40-Gbps Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). The router also incorporates major revisions of Cisco's management tools (Cisco Intelligent ServiceFile and Cisco Craft Works Interface).

The Cisco CRS-1 is designed to offer continuous system operation, permitting maintenance and upgrades without any service interruptions through improvements in Cisco IOS XR. This "memory-protected, micro-kernel-based operating system enables process-level in-service upgrades, and enables fully distributed processing through the separation of control, data and management planes", Cisco explains. In addition, the Cisco CRS-1 features technology designed to automatically recognise and block disruptive activities such as distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The router features a non-blocking, self-routed multi-shelf system architecture designed to scale from 1.2Tbps to 92Tbps. The system features the industry's first OC-768c IP interface and supports up to 1152 40-Gbps line-card slots. System processes such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) can also be fully distributed across the routing system for maximum efficiency and scale. Cisco said the router rounds its existing carrier-class routing portfolio.

Cisco said the performance of the router enables the reliable, large-scale delivery of high bandwidth applications, including video-on-demand, online gaming, and real-time interactive services. The launch of the router coincides with Cisco’s 20th birthday.

The Cisco CRS-1 is currently in field trials with service providers worldwide (such as Sprint and T-Mobile). It is scheduled to be available in July 2004. Systems start at $450,000. ®

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