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Thursday, 29 October 2009 10:01

Hot chips from Juniper lift router performance dramatically

Juniper Networks has unveiled a new family of processors, Junos One, that will be embedded into a broad array of Juniper's future routing, switching and security products. It has also released new routers and router line cards incorporating the new chips, claiming dramatic performance improvements.

The first Junos One chipset is the Junos Trio chipset with "revolutionary 3D Scaling technology that enables networks to scale dynamically for more bandwidth, subscribers and services – all at the same time without compromise," according to Juniper. The announcements were made along with others, including a rebranding, in what Juniper said was the biggest announcement in its 12 year history.

"Junos Trio with 3D Scaling is the only chipset of its kind on the planet," said Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper's founder, vice chairman and CTO. "This will dramatically change the economics for our customers, while helping them create new and better experiences for their customers. This is the platform for the next decade." He said that Juniper hand invested more than $US80 million over the last five years to develop Junos Trio.

It represents Juniper's fourth generation of purpose-built silicon, and is claimed to be incorporate industry's first "network instruction set" – billed as "a new silicon architecture unlike traditional application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and network processing units (NPUs)... that leverages customised 'network instructions' that are designed into silicon to maximise performance and functionality, while working closely with Junos [Juniper's network operating system used across all its products] to ensure programmability of network resources."

According to Juniper, "Junos Trio includes four chips with a total of 1.5 billion transistors and 320 simultaneous processes, yielding total router throughput up to 2.6Tbps and up to 2.3 million subscribers per rack – far exceeding the performance and scale possible through off-the-shelf silicon."

Juniper has released new MX80 routers and cards incorporating the new chipsets, claiming dramatic performance gains and very substantial leads over competing products.

Juniper claims that the new line cards and MX router combined: increase RoI over five years by up to 540 percent; reduce operating expenses for aggregation services up to 47 percent; reduce operating expenses for business services up to 63 percent; reduce operating expenses for residential services up to 77 percent and improve power efficiency by a factor of 10-to-1 versus other vendors. It says these figures have been "validated through a commissioned study conducted by an independent third party."


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According to Wendy Cartee,  head of product and technical marketing for Edge and Aggregation Business Unit at Juniper Networks, "We have compared the best silicon available today across multiple competitors and we can achieve twice the packet capacity, twice the packet handling capability and three times the address handling capability. The trio can provide these using less power than the best silicon on the market today. It is two times more power efficient."

The announced products are:
- Two new MX Series 3D routers - billed as "the industry's most powerful 3.5-inch routers (eight times faster than competitors) designed for delivering carrier ethernet services for multi-tenant buildings, as well as mobile aggregation, video and enterprise edge deployments."

Cartee claimed eight competitor's products would be needed to achieve equivalent performance to the new MX80s.

The new modular line cards for new or existing MX routers are:
- The MX 3D Aggregation Line Card, billed as "the industry's first 120 Gbps card with highest 10GE density for aggregation, video distribution, data centre and edge routing;"
- The MX 3D Universal Edge Line Card, claimed to offer "dramatic experience improvement and pay-as-you-grow economics based on a flexible GE / 10GE configuration;"
- The MX 3D 100GbE Line Card billed as "The industry's only edge routing with line-rate 100GbE performance for edge uplink, inter-data centre and high-bandwidth aggregation."

When used in Juniper's highest performing  MX router, the MX960, Cartee said they would lift its throughput to 2.4tbps, representing  "a dramatic improvement in the use of space, power and cooling for service providers...This represents the highest capacity [edge] router in the industry."

She claimed that four of the Juniper's leading competitor's routers would be needed to achieve the same performance, and that the MX960 with the new line cards, "uses 90 percent less power than the two leading competing products."

Juniper's MX 3D products are available starting December 2009 with MX 3D Aggregation Line Card. The other products will be available throughout 2010.

Stuart Corner travelled to New York for Juniper's announcement as a guest of the company.

You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...

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