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Cisco 120Gbps router rumored

Slow to outpace Juniper T1600

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Cisco is rumored to be cooking up a new carrier core router to outpace Juniper's speedy T1600. But it seems that issues with the supporting application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design may delay the Cisco's telco router rollout by up to a year.

The new MSC120 Cisco router will become heir to network giant's Carrier Router System (CRS-1) introduced in 2004, according to a bulletin issued from Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron. It will sport speeds of 120Gb/s per slot, and it's intended to one-up Juniper's 100Gb/s router interface card for the T1600 Core Router.

He reckons the MSC120 will support 12 to 24 slots with a total throughput exceeding 2Tb/s. But Kidron doesn't venture to say how it will scale. Juniper claims the T1600, in conjunction with its JCS1200 control system, provides transport scale up to 25 Tb/s.

The analyst claims that Cisco's plans are to announce the MSC120 over the next month, but he says the company recently uncovered design faults with its three-chipset ASIC switching fabric architecture that threaten to delay those plans.

"We believe Cisco has recently discovered issues with the supporting ASIC design, which could require a material redesign of the platform," Kidron said. "This could delay product availability until mid-2011."

Cisco did not immediately respond to our questions about its carrier core router plans.

Kidron believes any delays to the MSC120 rollout won't have much of a material impact on Cisco's bottom line.

"Most of the core network vendor decision's have already been made and displacements are very rare," he said. Kidron also suggests the new product won't rattle the router market. He suggests Cisco will keep its 60 per cent share while Juniper holds on to its 33 per cent. ®

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