Cisco unveils new core routers, outlines NPU plans; EZchip takes off

|About: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)|By:, SA News Editor

At a launch event for its new NCS core router line, Cisco (CSCO -0.5%) states its recently-announced nPower X1 network processor (NPU) won't displace EZchip's (EZCH +17.1%) NPUs.

EZchip shares, which tumbled when the X1 was originally announced, have shot higher. Oppenheimer had estimated the nPower X1 could hurt EZchip's top line by 20%-25% if used in future Cisco edge routers; the chipmaker issued a statement attempting to soothe investor fears.

Cisco states the X1, which (per John Chambers) cost $250M to develop, will power the NCS line, as well as its mainstay CRS-X core routers.

As previously reported, the NCS line is meant to provide better support for diverse traffic loads than the CRS-X line. Cisco touts the programmability of its new hardware, as well as its advanced management tools (both physical and virtual resources can be provisioned across systems) and support for the company's ONE SDN platform (will eventually cover Cisco's entire switch/router lineup).

The high-end NCS 6000 supports line cards with densities up to 1Tbps; that exceeds the 400Gbps supported by the CRS-X and supports arguments the former will be viewed as a replacement for the latter, even if it isn't officially marketed as such.

The NCS 6000 is already shipping, as is a complementary 100G optical transport system known as the NCS 2000. Japan's KDDI and Australia's Telstra are among the first clients. A less powerful router known as the NCS 4000 will ship in 1H14.

Juniper (JNPR -1.2%), whose successful PTX Series routers are being targeted by the NCS line, is ticking lower.