The News: Cisco on Wednesday outlined new details behind its strategy to build next-generation internet technology. As a set up for what it dubs its ‘Internet for the Future’ strategy, the networking giant announced a multi-year plan for building and investing in 5G internet technology, including silicon, optics and software.
For me, the biggest announcement came on the silicon side, Cisco announced Silicon One, a new switching and routing applications specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the 5G internet era. The programmable networking chip is designed to provide significant improvements to performance, bandwidth, power efficiency, scalability and flexibility, according to Cisco. Read the news coverage on ZDnet.
Analyst Take: This week’s launch was a big one for Cisco as the company is hard charging toward being a major player in the modern network transformation, which will require greater speeds, lower latency and more robust silicon to support the go to market ambitions of the worlds leading carriers.
Silicon One Will Help Build The Network of the Future
Silicon One represents the company’s next wave of route/switch technology incorporating not just the silicon but the stack to include optics and software to support modern service providers and web scale companies. Silicon One itself is a new switching and routing applications specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that is designed to support the 5G era. From what I heard and read at the event, Cisco has designed this chip to be a programmable networking chip that can provide significant improvements to performance, bandwidth, power efficiency, scalability and flexibility, according to Cisco.
It should not be understated the value of programmability for these new ASICs. Different operators have different needs and Cisco has delivered not just a chip, but more of a toolkit for building out future networks around Silicon One’s dynamic capabilities to support the modern service provider. This is exciting in concept and will be important to watch early deployments and customer success stories.
Other Announcements Include New Routers, Optics and Consumption Models
Silicon One stole the show for me, but much like computers can’t run without chips, neither can the network.
The way I see it, Cisco will be able to support a larger market of OEMs and Cloud Providers with its Silicon One, but the company also has a massive product portfolio that will benefit from the technology and building hardware to incorporate the new Silicon One chip makes a lot of sense.
At the event, the company launched its new 8000 series routers. These routers will be powered by the Silicon One Q100 and will be designed for web scale providers to be able to more efficiently build out its next generation networks that will need greater speed and lower latency to support 5G, AI, IoT and other advancements.
The company is also promising the market to focus on building and testing optics to support new gig-speed connectivity that will push from 100G to 400G as well as developing new consumption models that will allow operators to procure and deploy Cisco’s new technologies with different economics that should better serve the way modern operators and service providers go to market.
While some say that software will rule the world and others say its data, Cisco has made a strong argument that Silicon will rule the world, or at least control how data is transmitted and software is utilized.
The launch of Silicon One by Cisco is going to put the company in a uniquely strong position to lead key network components as we undergo the transformation to 5G and other future technologies that depend upon high speed, low latency connectivity.
I will be watching enthusiastically to see how these products enter the market and impacts service providers, operators and web scale companies building next generation internet experiences.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.