Cisco is partnering with service providers and leading web-scale companies on its Silicon One initiative, part of the company's "Internet for the Future strategy" unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco.
Designed for both operators and web-scale companies, Silicon One is a "single, unified silicon architecture that can serve anywhere in the network and be used in any form factor," according to a company statement.
The move is designed to meet the needs of network operators that are managing increasing volumes of data and video traffic (particularly as 5G services come online), but not generating additional revenues from their efforts and investments. Key to next-generation network architectures will be components and systems that can help to reduce operating costs, introduce automated processes, enable alternative deployment models (including modular/disaggregated systems) and make testing and deployment quicker and easier.
Cisco is pitching Silicon One as a chip that can be used in modular as well as integrated, fixed router platforms. Typically, a network incorporates multiple types of silicon featuring varied capabilities -- one device can include multiple chips -- that can result in expensive testing procedures for service providers. Providers are under pressure to slash opex, and curtailing R&D and reducing time-to-market for new business services would go toward that goal.
Soon, Cisco said it will have a 25Tbit/s router available. Its first model on the market, the Silicon One Q100 model, reaches more than 10Tbit/s throughput, according to Cisco.
STC, a leading Middle Eastern telco, is the first to deploy Silicon One, Cisco said. Comcast and NTT Communications also are trialing the new routing technology, the company said.
Google and Cisco are working together on developing silicon, particularly on meeting the needs for higher speeds and greater capacity; Facebook -- which began initiatives such as Telecom Infrastructure Project and the Open Compute Project as part of its open-source vision of communications -- and Cisco are focused on network disaggregation and open ecosystems, the Cisco statement said.
"Cisco's new Silicon One architecture is aligned with this vision, and we believe this model offers network operators diverse and flexible options through a disaggregated approach," said Najam Ahmad, vice president of Network Engineering at Facebook, in the release.
For years, service providers and a growing ecosystem of vendors, including competitive router players such as DriveNets, have been advocating more open system architectures. "DriveNets is pleased to see Cisco endorsing the need to open the networking model," said Ido Susan, CEO and co-founder of DriveNets, via email, noting the work of service providers such as AT&T to support open, disaggregated networking.
For more about Cisco's significant move, see what Mitch Wagner had to say, live from the event, in his Light Reading article.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana. Like what you read: Sign up for our weekly newsletter.