News Release

Cisco Delivers New Channelized Optical Interfaces for the Cisco 12000 Gigabit Switch Router

Integrated SONET Multiplexing Enables Scalable Provisioning of High-Speed Internet Customers
Jun 23, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- June 23, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced two new channelized interfaces for the Cisco 12000 Gigabit Switch Router (GSR). These new interfaces mark phase three of Cisco's Optical Internetworking strategy (see "Cisco Announces Optical Internetworking Strategy," April 20, 1998) and give service providers a simpler, more scalable solution for the deployment and provisioning of high-speed Internet customers.

Cisco's new channelized interfaces support up to 12 digital signal level three (DS3) channels on a single port and four OC-3/STS-3c channels on a single OC-12 port. These interfaces dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of IP and Frame Relay DS3 (45 Mbps) and OC-3 (155 Mbps) connections.

"The business community is embracing the Internet for networked commerce and virtual storefronts, making the need for higher-bandwidth connections to the Internet critical. Today DS3 access is the fastest-growing segment of the industry," said Graeme Fraser, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Optical Internetworking Business Unit. "By integrating SONET/SDH functionality into the router, we can offer the most reliable and cost-effective solution to carrier-scale, high-speed access."

Industry First

Cisco's new GSR interfaces are the first Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)-compliant, channelized, optical interfaces available for high-speed Internet access. Both interfaces permit a single optical connection between the Cisco 12000 GSR and the SONET access network, providing a simpler alternative than previous solutions. In addition, the redundancy capabilities of SONET can be extended to the routers, providing end-to-end protection for customer traffic.

"As we move to the Optical Internet, SONET and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) are playing new roles as collector networks for high-speed access. Cisco intends to integrate very tightly with these networks to optimize the architectures for efficient and scalable IP delivery," added Fraser.

"High reliability and high performance are critical requirements for Qwest's network. The Cisco 12000 channelized interfaces allow me to run an all-optical IP network, from backbone to customer access," said Dana Filip, vice president, Transport Engineering at Qwest Communications.

High-Speed DS3 and OC-3 IP Services

Cisco's new channelized interfaces integrate two key technologies: SONET multiplexing and high-speed IP switching. The combination of these technologies enables the channelized OC-12/DS3 and OC-12/STS-3c to achieve exceptional port density on a single SONET-compliant optical interface.

The channelized OC-12/DS3 replaces up to 12 copper-based, data service units (DSUs) or channel service units (CSUs), and attaches directly to SONET-compliant Add Drop Multiplexers (ADMs) that enable the Cisco 12000 to transmit and receive DS3-based, IP packets across a standard SONET network. In a case where a remote customer premise requires a DSU/CSU, the channelized OC-12/DS3 is compatible with equipment from major vendors such as ADC Kentrox, Digital Link and Larscom. The new interface increases reliability and takes advantage of the fail-safe features provided by SONET networks through support for automatic protection switching (APS). Both APS and SONET-to-DS3 multiplexing have been tested with equipment from leading SONET ADM vendors.

The channelized OC-12/STS-3c allows service providers to offer up to four 155-Mbps connections on a single optical interface. This interface is also designed to interoperate with existing SONET transmission equipment. Network designers can now plan a data-optimized, optical infrastructure where SONET equipment provides access directly to the Cisco 12000.

Frame Relay Transport

Cisco's new channelized interfaces also support Frame Relay encapsulation of IP packets, allowing the Cisco 12000 to exchange packets with Frame Relay routers and customer premise equipment (CPE). The channelized interfaces connect directly to the SONET network, and the Frame Relay traffic is transmitted and received across the SONET network at DS3 or OC-3 rates.


The channelized OC-12/DS3 for the Cisco 12000 GSR will be available in June 1998. The channelized OC-12/STS-3c will be available in Q4 1998.

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