The Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 takes advantage of the latest developments in microprocessors specifically designed for data networking applications. These chips combine many of the critical components of a network device onto a single piece of silicon. This conglomeration of components means that many parts of the system can now run at much faster speeds because they are located on the same chip, instead of spread across several inches on a printed circuit board. For example, the processor integrates functions such as the memory controller, system controller, non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM), console and auxiliary ports, and Flash storage device controller—all on the same chip as the system CPU. This means that these devices are now integrated into a single network processor.
Another important technical feature of the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 is that it includes three Ethernet interfaces as part of the system CPU. These interfaces, which can run at any speed from 10 Mbps Ethernet to 1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet, are also on the same piece of silicon as the system CPU. There is no bus bottleneck because the interfaces feed directly into the CPU at extremely fast internal chip speeds. High-speed LAN interfaces that once had to share peripheral component interconnect (PCI) bus bandwidth with other port adapters and I/O controllers can be moved to the processor to free up bus bandwidth for WAN port adapters.
Major Features of the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1
The integrated CPU in the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 has one more technical feature of considerable interest. The Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 introduces a new bus technology to the Cisco uBR7200 Series. The Cisco uBR7200 Series and all port adapters use industry-standard PCI bus technology. PCI technology helps guarantee that port adapters will be compatible with any system using an industry-standard PCI bus. Using such a standardized and well-known technology has led to other products from Cisco, such as the Cisco 7200, 7500, and 7600 series, all of which use port adapters supported on the Cisco uBR7200 Series. Recently, PCI standards have led to the development of a new standard bus technology known as Lightning Data Transport (LDT) or HyperTransport.
Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 Hardware Advantages
To remain compatible with already deployed Cisco uBR7246VXR chassis, the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 provides the same functionality as previous network processing engines. That is, the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 functions as the central forwarding and management engine for the Cisco uBR7246VXR. It connects to the chassis midplane through an industry-standard PCI bus. Because of these standardized connections, the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 provides a seamless upgrade path for customers wishing to maximize the performance of an existing Cisco uBR7246VXR. For many existing users, the choice to upgrade to a Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1 will be a simple choice of performance. Even if users do not take advantage of the new built-in interfaces on the Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1, they will still benefit from a dramatic improvement in forwarding rates with a Cisco uBR7200-NPE-G1, as well as the increase in maximum memory to 1 GB.