Gigabit IP packet switching routers


Intel               2 Gbps     pure silicon based optical modulator 
                               smashes previous optical switching record 
			       of 20 Mbps held by Graham Reed, University
			       of Surrey, UK.

OXC                 "fastest"  optical cross connects promise to be the
			       fastest switching technology between
			       high speed fibers, but it is not yet
			       clear how well they integrate into IP
			       over optical networks. 
MPLS			       multiprotocol label switching is an 
			       effort to traffic engineer high
			       volume flows and may ease the integration
			       of ATM, VCs and IP.  It may be more 
			       efficient to utilize load sensitive IP 
			       streams if they could be implemented 
			       without instabilities for example by 
			       optimising OSPF weights or e.g. using an
			       ensemble Riccati state controller.

Avici                fast      IP-in-silicon fast IP router.

BBN Labs             50 Gbps   research effort based on the Butterfly
                               switching matrix, ARPA funded, Craig 
                               Partridge involved, forwards 6 to 42 
                               million packets per second depending
                               on configuration. This was one of the
			       earliest multigigabit routers built. 

British Telecom     100 Gbps   research effort, pure optical routing,
                               read header in optical IC and marked
                               packets are optically switched into
                               another fiber, 100 Gbps expected for
                               the first light box.

Broadcom              9 Gbps   world's first single chip switch with
                               routing (L3) and quality of service.  The
			       Strataswitch BCM5600 (CMOS) can filter up 
			       to 6.6 Mpps and supports 24 10/100 
			       interfaces and two 100/1000 interfaces 
			       which can all run at wire speed.  The 
			       chip can run data, voice and video 

Caspian Networks     very fast next generation scalability, control and
                               management of ISP's IP optical networks,
			       Lawrence Roberts involved.

Chiaro Networks      very fast developped optical switching, eliminating
                               the capacity bottleneck (due to electronics 
                               using slow large electrons instead of light
                               and fast photons) at the carrier's end of 
                               the fibers. 

Cisco 7600 OSR      256 Gbps   The 7600 Optical Services Router (OSR)
                               has a parallel eXpress forwarding engine,
			       non ASIC based, which can handle up to 30
			       million packets per seconds.  A variety
			       of configurations with gigabit ethernet
			       and ATM interfaces etc are available.
			       Introduced in February 2001 and put on
			       hold in April 2001.

i-data/Exbit         32 Gbps   The Heathrow 16-port-switch-on-a-chip can
                               handle 10/100/1000 speeds on each port,
			       24 million packets per second and has an
			       internal engine up to 32 Gbps.    

Lucent               gigabits  The Packet Star terabit switch is an
                               IP-in-silicon router using PGAs without 
			       the traditional CPU and software lookups
                               on each incoming packet.  It using a 
                               clever packet queuing scheme and 
                               includes QoS (ATM). 

Moby Router         350 Gbps   research effort based on silicon, parallel 
Pluris                         architectures, Vadim Antonov is founder 
                               of Pluris, 2 Tbps targeted.  IP routing in 
			       silicon, not the traditional CPU and 
			       software approach.  Pluris core technology
			       works by splitting aggregated streams into
			       parallel flows,  like 'colored liquids'. 
			       Expected to have advantages over simple IP
			       best efforts routing on the one side and 
			       complicated virtual circuit management on 
			       the other.  (When circuits aren't over-
			       loaded traffic engineering has zero 
			       benefits.  The TE apostles promise more 
			       "miracles" for unfilled pipes.)

Nexabit/Lucent acq.  gigabits  developping the capability to route up
			       to 10 billion bits per second real world
			       on each interface.

Procket               fast     the next generation router, faster than
                               the GSR 12000 or M160, using MPLS.

Rapid City Communic.  7 Mpps   startup in Mountain View, Gigabit ethernet
                               routing switches can route 7 million 
			       packets per second, uses ASICs, expected
			       to ship end of 1997, was purchased by Bay
			       Networks, now Nortel Networks.

Rumor by Bill Manning 600 Mbps 'thingie with PCI interface', box needed 
                               to plug this into, to get a reasonable 
			       ExchangeNG(tm) box, hopefully with multiple
			       OC-3c interfaces.
			       Update 2001:
                               Or simply four gigabit PCI cards,
			       although it's nontrivial to get this box
			       to work with present day hardware, due to
			       memory bandwidth constraints, which is
			       only 4.2 Gbps in a PC and requires 2 Gbps
			       for each PCI card, in and out; packet 
			       header lookup and route processing etc.;
			       but it could become a future alternative
			       to custom hardware solutions; before
			       $200 four port gigabit ASIC boxes take 

SNRC SupraNodes      100 Tb/s  SupraNodes scalable to 100 Tb/s and
                               beyond are investigated using scalable
			       architectures and emerging optical &
			       electrical technologies  at the SNRC 
			       (Stanford Network Research Center)
			       here in town.

Vitesse               10 Gbps  Pacemaker 10 chip planned for release in
                               Q4 2000.  Full OC-192 speed switching and
                               packet processing engine.


Ascend GRF 400        16 Gbps  the Gigarouter is a gallium arsenide 
    or GRF 1600      280 Mpps  based non-blocking crosspoint switch, 
                               16x16 matrix with 256 paths, used at 
			       UUnet/Worldcom, on the NSF funded 
			       vBNS OC-3c 155 Mbps backbone; 16 Gbps 
			       advertised aggregate bandwidth; can hold 
			       150,000+ routing table entries; does not
			       use routing table caches to reduce 
			       flapping; available with HiPPI/ATM/OC3c/
			       FDDI interfaces, available with 4 slot
			       (GRF 400) or 16 slot (GRF 1600) rack, 
			       uses gateD version, 'magic' runs below 
			       socket level, developped by Netstar, an 
			       Ascend division in Minnesota; won router 
			       of the year award '97.  Lucent bought 

Bay Networks BCN(R)  700 Mbps  Backbone Concentrator Node multiprotocol 
                      >1 Mpps  routers use a Symmetric MultiProcessing 
		               (SMP) architecture (Bay Networks claims 
			       their routers (BCN, BLN, ASN) are the only
                               ones which do; will be used soon on the 
                               ANS DS3 backbone (replacing IBM RS6000s);
                               up to 13 FDDI interfaces; up to 104 LAN/WAN 
                               interfaces; system performance scales to 
                               800,000 to 1 million forwarded packets 
                               per second (pps); runs SMP over up to 13  
                               68060s with up to 416 MB DRAM, part of
                               which is used to mirror global memory to 
                               local memory. ATM Routing Module can 
			       handle wire speed OC-3.

Bay Networks BLN  330,000 pps  Backbone Link Nodes can forward 330,000 
                               pps, with SMP over up to 4 68060s and 
			       128 MB RAM, part of which is used to 
			       mirror global memory to local nodes.  
			       Please supply better real world figures 
			       if you have them. 

Bay Networks ASN   50,000 pps  Access Stack Nodes are modular stackable, 
                               50,000 pps (1 ASN) up to 200,000 pps 
			       (4 ASNs), based on 68040 CPUs with SMP 
			       over up to 4 CPUs and up to 128MB DRAM, 
			       part of which is used for mirroring.

Bay Networks AN     7000 pps   Access Node can forward 7000 pps.

Cisco CRS-1           92 Tbps  The Carrier Routing System 1 uses up to
                               40 Gbps fiber ports, up to 1.2 Gbps per 
			       box.  72 boxes can be connected resulting
			       in an aggregate bandwidth of 92 Tbps.  

Cisco GSR       up to 80 Gbps  The Gigabit Switch Router is a crosspoint
                               switch and router available with 4, 8 and
                               12 slots. Supports IP over SONET as well
                               as ATM.  Connects directly into fiber
                               infrastructure with OC-3 or OC-12 speeds,
                               lateron OC-48.  During development it
			       was known as the BFR (Big Fast Router).

GSR 12012          15-60 Gbps  12 slots,  interface cards with 4 x OC-3
GSR 12008          10-40 Gbps  8 slots    or 1 x OC-12 
GSR 12004              5 Gbps  4 slots
                               Probably the best architecture:  IP over
                               SONET on long distance links,  Gigabit
                               ethernet on the LAN and in between ATM
                               may not be all that bad for citywide
                               connections.  Can do 2.5 billion bits per
			       seconds full duplex real world traffic
			       on each interface.

Cisco 7500 series    160 Mbps  popular at MAEs, FIXs and backbones, 
                     >1 Mpps   dual MIPS processors, supports many 
                               protocols and options suitable for NSPs, 
                               about 160 Mbps real world performance 
                               (in Cisco HSSI/FDDI testbed, possibly 
                               limited by slow test equipment); they
                               are widely used on present day backbones
                               and can barely handle present day traffic;
                               can do about 300,000 packets per second; 
                               and up to 1 Mpps with recent upgrades;
                               performance is negatively impacted by 
			       route updating; route damping can 
			       alleviate it by reducing the load on the 
			       processors.  SSH available in 12.xT IOS. 

Cisco 7200 series   > 16 Mpbs  popular with ISPs, 8 Mbps on one, maybe
                               two, ports of a 4T card.
Cisco 4700 series   > 10 Mbps  recommended for full BGP4 routing with 
                               about 34,000 routes and using 32 MB RAM;
                               100 MHz 64bit IDT Orion RISC processor;
                               can do fewer than 47000 pps;  8 Mbps
                               on one, maybe two, ports of a 4T card  
                               but not on a 2T card.

                               [General note: Advanced 64 bit operating
                               systems (SGI IRIX, Digital Unix, 
			       HP-Convex) have a usable memory limit of
			       roughly 16 GB ensuring that memory size 
			       is not restricting router table growth. 
			       Also note that adressable memory can be
			       much larger (SGI IRIX 1 TB) but can't be
			       used due to memory bandwidth restrictions;
                               sometimes also called memory latency;
                               a path requires about 110 bytes and a
                               BGP-4 route about 370 bytes of memory.
                               Generally the proccessing power limits
                               the number of routes since the required
                               power increases much faster than the
                               number of additional routes.]

Cisco 3620/3640       16 Mbps  router with 2 or 4 expansion slots; 8
                               Mbps on one port of a 4T card.

Cisco 2650            37 kpps  Cisco specs: 37,000 packets per second

Cisco 2620            25 kpps 

Cisco 2610            15 kpps

Cisco 2500 series      3 Mbps  entry level Cisco router; 3 Mbps 
                               throughput 4000 pps if only one T1 port 
			       is used; can handle 2 T1s if they are not
			       both fully loaded; 68030 CPU with up to 
			       16 MB DRAM; BGP-4 possible, read Avi 
			       Freedman's BGP tutorial; can forward 
			       about 4000 packets per second (pps), 
			       popular with ISPs.

DEC Alphastation 200           a pair is used as route servers at DEC's 
                               NAP in Palo Alto with 128 MB DRAM each, 
                               in 1997 a typical config was 27.9 MB 
			       virtual memory size of gated with 6517 AS
			       paths and 34662 BGP-supplied routes.

DEC Gigaswitch        3.4 Gbps crosspoint switch, used at MFS and 
                               MAE-West and other high volume exchange
			       points, tested under real world  
			       conditions, limited by a backplane speed 
			       of roughly 800 Mbps, aggregate throughput
			       3.6 Gbps; one of the few boxes available 
			       with full-duplex FDDI interfaces. 

Extreme Summit 7i     48 Mpps  New record with 48 million IP packets per
                               second.  It's a 64 Gbps backplane non-
			       blocking switch with 32 1 Gbps ports 
			       which can all run at wire speed.  
			       Supports routing protocols like BGP-4, 
			       plus policy based Quality of Service 
			       (QoS) bandwidth management and 
			       priorization.  The minimum latency is 
			       about 5 microseconds.
Extreme Networks      12 Mpps  It was a new record of 12 million packets
                               per second IP forwarding achieved with 
			       the Summit 1 switch using hardware IP 
			       routing "Hardware, hardware, sweet 
			       hardware", 8 port Gigabit ethernet switch
			       with 17.5 Gbps backplane capacity and 
			       switching latency under 6 microseconds, 
			       better than ATM with OC12 622 Mbps 

Foundry             178 Mpps   Up to 120 Gigabit ports per chassis and
			       a total throughput of up to 480 Gbps and
			       178 million packets per second.

Ironbridge Networks  1.3 Tbps  The SwiftCOR is the world's first Terabit
                               router and is scalable from gigabits up
                               to 1.3 terabits/sec.  Supports up to 256
                               OC48s or up to 64 OC192 interfaces or any
                               combination thereof.  Virtual IP backbone

Juniper M160        160 Gbps   The M160 can forward up to 160 billion
                               bits per second using an ASIC and a 
			       parallel forwarding and route computation 
			       architecture.  Mountain View, initial 
			       investors: LM Ericsson, Northern Telecom,
			       Siemens, 3Com, UUnet/WorldCom, Lucent 
			       Technologies, Newbridge Networks.  IP 
			       routing in silicon, not the traditional 
			       CPU and software approach.  Each of the 
			       maximum of eight interface cards can do
			       up to 10 billion bits per second full 
			       duplex.  Packets can be priortized.  Real
			       world 10 Gbps on an interface is the 
			       current record among all boxes.  SSH 
			       available (FreeBSD based), "JUNOS" 

Juniper M40           40 Mpps  Juniper's "flagship" router is the 
                               previous model M40 which can do 40 million 
			       packets per second and is based on a 
			       similar technology as the M160 described 

Juniper M20           20 Mpps  Internet backbone router purpose built
                               for emerging Internet service providers.

IPSILON                        invented IP switching, a method to 
                               efficiently put TCP/IP over any network 
			       fabric, routing calculation on AMD/Intel, 
			       can be used e.g. over ATM, alliance with 
			       DEC, developped IGRP, competitor to Cisco,
			       but seems to have flamed out recently and
			       was purchased by Nokia.

Livingston Enterprises  3 Mbps IRX routers have up to 2 T1/E1 sync ports
                               and 2 low speed 56/64k sync ports. RIPv1,
                               OSPF and recently BGP-4 became available.
                               Memory can be upgraded beyond 16 MB if 
                               desired (but all four must be equal). 
                               Livingston remote access servers are 
			       popular with ISPs, for modem and ISDN 

National              2.5 Gbps National introduces industry's first
                               LVDS-compliant 4X4 Crosspoint Switch:
			       DS90CP04. :  The 2.5 Gbps speed allows
			       the new device to be used in a broad
			       variety of applications from OC12 (622
			       Mbps) to OC48 rates (STM-16)    
			       July 2002

NortelNetworks Accelar 15 Gbps Layer 3 switch, routing, filtering, 
                               policy  in silicon, Model 1200 has been
			       shipping for 12-18 mths, with 6 I/O slots, 
			       dual-gig blades, (optionally linksafe) 
			       SX or LX.  Not completely non-blocking, 
			       as 12 Gig ports at full duplex would 
			       overrun the backplane of 15 Gbps.

New model 8600...     128 Gbps 8 slot or 4 slot chassis (plus a pair of 
                               switch fabrics...) 8 port Gigabit cards
			       (SX, LX, XD) Current backplane = 64Gbps 
			       per switch fabric, total therefore 
			       128Gbps.  Approx throughput 100 Mpps

NSC  PS32                      sometimes preferred by the military. 

Proteon                        popular on backbones a couple years ago.

3Com                  18 Mfps  New Superstack II 9300 12 port gigabit
                               ethernet switch can forward up to 18 
                               million frames per second.

Wellfleet                      used on MCI's DS3 based frame-relay 
                               backbone, Wellfleet is now a part of Bay 
			       Networks, and now Nortel Networks.

Gbps:  Giga bits per second       1,000,000,000 bits per second
Mbps:  Mega bits per second       1,000,000     bits per second
Mpps:  Mega packets per second    packets have about 200 bytes or 1600 bits  
 pps:  packets per second         but can vary from ~100 to ~1600 bytes 

created in 1994
last update July 2002

Ryan's Gigabit Networking and Distributed Computing page

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