New Cisco routers promise speed, capacity

Posted March 9, 2010

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— Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), the company that provides much of the world’s Internet infrastructure, on Tuesday rolled out what the networking giant’s CEO calls the “brains of the new Internet.”

In a live global Web conference, Cisco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Chambers introduced the CRS-3 routers that Chambers said provide the capacity to transform the Internet.

“While it’s not exciting to the general consumer,” Chambers said, the new routers represent “the future of the Internet.”

“Is this transforming the Internet,” he asked in the presentation. “Absolutely.”

Cisco, which said it invested more than $1 billion in developing the new gear, described the new router’s 322 Terabits-per-second capacity this way:

  • It could download the printed collection of the Library of Congress “in just over one second”
  • Allow “every man, woman and child in China to make a video call, simultaneously”
  • Allow “every motion picture ever created to be streamed in less than four minutes”

The Cisco announcement had been hyped extensively by Cisco as an “adrenaline” rush for the Net. But the company didn’t announce a new broadband network initiative similar to the “ultrafast” network announced last month by Google.

However, Cisco did include Keith Cambron, the top executive at AT&T Labs, in the announcement. Cambron said that the telecommunications firm had been experimenting with the new Cisco routers in what the companies said were the first field trials at 100 gigabit speeds.

The routers are designed to enable faster delivery of video and other data to not only enterprise networks but also mobile devices and for home use, the executives said.

The new routers are being field tested and will start at $90,000 each.

Saying the new routers boast 12 times the capacity of current gear, Chambers said such capability will “bring the Internet to life.”

“It’s about the media experience,” he explained, noting that faster speed will boost health care and other applications in addition to entertainment.

“Video is the killer app,” Chambers stressed. The new routers are “the foundation for the next generation Internet.”

The Internet has evolved from a messaging network to one of collaboration, he said.

The emergence of “cloud computing” – the sharing of computing services on demand – and virtualization – the enabling of devices to support multiple operating systems – also will be enhanced by the new gear since it can support so much more bandwidth demand, Chambers added

“It’s about the next generation of productivity,” Chambers said..

The new equipment is not just about speed in the “pipes” as Chambers described network backbone connections but also scale, flexibility and the ability to replicate information.

The announcement had little immediate impact on Cisco shares, which opened at $26.13 Tuesday morning. They traded at $25.97, down 16 cents in noon trading.

Cisco set a 52-week high of $26.34 Monday amid speculation about what Chambers would announce.

Cisco employs some 4,300 people at its RTP campus.


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  • Here is a Thought Mar 9, 2010

    The new routers are being field tested and will start at $90,000 each. gosh really ? now where get I get one for Home use, practical: NOT.

  • almostheaven Mar 9, 2010

    It is sad a company this large and that employees this many North Carolina residents can not have a tech department in the R.T.P.

    A call to their tech department is a very unpleasant experience.

  • smcallah Mar 9, 2010

    judge: 2 main reasons we rank so far down in Internet speeds.

    1. We were the first on the Internet, we invented the thing. Built it on old telephone technology that was meant to carry phone calls and not data to begin with.

    2. The countries you list as having fast speeds... 90%+ of their residents live in large cities, that one, had never technology from the beginning, and two have people living in highrise buildings where it is easy to run a fast connection into the building and run connections to everyone in there. The US is almost exactly the opposite, most of our citizens live in suburbs. It is pretty hard (read expensive) to wire up neighborhoods that are miles apart and not blocks apart like in a city.

    And our big cities are so old that they are all built on top of the old telephone infrastructure, which is limiting speeds in places where it should be fast.

  • WRALcensorsforIslam Mar 9, 2010

    Singapore, which is slightly larger than my 1/2 acre yard, better have the ability to deploy the newest/fastest/coolest technology considering the average income and GDP of the place. That complaint really isn't terribly thoughtful. There are counties in the US larger than the Netherlands. The population density of these small nations makes it easy for them to be able to roll out new technology and fiber to the home with a cost per customer that is nothing compared to what US businesses would have to pay. That comparison really doesn't tell us anything meaningful.

  • EasyU Mar 9, 2010

    And, as stated well by KermitDFrog, the cost for us to upgrade would be substantially more than competing countries.

  • EasyU Mar 9, 2010

    The real reason we fall behind many other countries in connection speed is pretty simple: we were the first into the water and are still using yesterday's tech. Newer implementations (from less-developed countries who waded into the water much later than us) have an infrastructure that uses newer, faster equipment and newer and faster cabling.

  • brianlowery2 Mar 9, 2010


  • Slip Kid Mar 9, 2010

    Maybe we'll finally get a holodeck, like in Star Trek TNG. ;-)

  • KermitDFrog Mar 9, 2010

    The costs associated with a nationwide roll-out is higher if your nation is geographically bigger. Rolling out new gear in small countries (especially countries that have gov't subisidized infrastructure) costs less.

  • judge Mar 9, 2010

    StaggerLee, I merely stated facts. I could offer an opinion, but you seem to have one, albeit irrelevant, argumentative, and making fictitious allegations. I hope you get outside and enjoy the weather today. It will be good for you. I will do the same. Cheers!