Cisco's new router can go 25 terabytes per second -- but it's not the fastest speed that money can buy

Cisco's new router can go 25 terabytes per second -- but it's not the fastest speed that money can buy
  • Silicon One is a custom chip designed to be used anywhere in the network, near-term performance is expected to cross 25Tbps.
  • Cisco says that the Silicon One Q100 model has surpassed the 10Tbps bandwidth milestone.
Cisco Systems has announced its big bet for the ‘next internet’, claiming to lay down the building blocks for the next decade of internet.

The new Cisco Silicon One architecture is aimed at surpassing network bandwidth of up to 25 terabytes per second (tbps) in the near future. The first model in this series, the Q100, has already crossed the 10 tbps milestone, according to the company.

And while speeds of 25 tbps may seem impressive, Cisco isn’t the only company looking to prepare itself before the onslaught of 5G.

Earlier this year, Junipers Networks introduced new MX 5G routers claim that they can deliver speeds of up to 80 tbps. In South Korea, LG U+ is already revamping the backbone of the internet infrastructure with 86 tbps routers, according to Business Korea.

‘New internet for the 5G era’

Cisco says that its strategy is centered around three key areas of technology – silicon, optics and software.

Cisco’s Silicon One is a custom chip solution that can be used anywhere in the network. Together with IOS XR7 operating system, this new Silicon One chip powers the Cisco 8000 Series routers.

Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco, said, “Our latest solutions in silicon, optics and software represent the continued innovation we're driving that helps our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come.”

Replacement for the existing infrastructure

As the world moves to embrace 5G, the existing infrastructure will be pushed to its limits. This is already evident with 4G LTE networks which become unusable in heavily crowded areas. Although 5G is expected to alleviate this problem to some extent, future applications are expected to be even more taxing on the existing infrastructure.

Cisco’s new Silicon One chip and optics are aimed at replacing this infrastructure and preparing networks and service provides for the ‘Internet of the Future’.

Cisco says its Silicon One Q100 model surpasses the 10Tbps network bandwidth milestone without any compromises on the scalability, programmability and power efficiency.

Unlike other chips which are custom built for different needs in a single network, the Q100 chip can be used anywhere in the network. This, Cisco says, should “greatly reduce costs of operations and reduce time-to-value for new services.”

Cisco says that STC, a leading telecom provider in the Middle East and North Africa is the first customer of this new silicon architecture. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTTCom.

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