New Cisco Router Will Offer 120Gbps Throughput: Analyst

An analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. says that Cisco Systems is developing the MSC 120, a router that will offer 120Gbps per slot of throughput, performance that would move the router past Juniper's T1600. Oppenheimer expects the MSC 120 to be announced this month, but that shipping could be delayed until 2011.

Cisco Systems reportedly is working on the next generation of its carrier core routing technology, readying a product that will offer 120 Gigabits per second per slot.

In a bulletin, Ittai Kidron, an analyst with financial services firm Oppenheimer & Co., said Cisco is preparing to launch the MSC 120 router, which will be the next-generation product to the company's current CRS-1.

The MSC 120 will offer a throughput of 120Gbps for each slot, leap-frogging over Juniper Network's T1600, which has 100Gbps.

The product will support 12 to 24 slots, with total throughput of more than 2 terabytes, according to Kidron.

He said he expects Cisco will announce the new product sometime this month, but shipping could be delayed.

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

The design problems, according to Kidron, center around a three-chipset fabric architecture. That said, he added that any delay will not hurt Cisco's financial picture, given the company's experience in dealing with such problems, as with the ASR 9000.

"Most of the core network vendor decisions have already been made and displacements are very rare," he wrote. "We don't expect to see Cisco lose material business."

The router market will essentially stay the same for the time being, Kidron said. Cisco currently owns about 60 percent of the market, with Juniper getting about 33 percent.

Juniper introduced the T1600 router in 2007.