Cisco unveils 40-core networking processor

Cisco packs 800 million transistors on its new Quantum Flow Processor

Cisco Systems has unveiled its QuantumFlow Processor, a networking semiconductor that has 40 cores on a single chip.

The processor, the result of a five-year Cisco development effort, has a fully integrated and programmable networking chip set that controls different functions of a system, such as data transfer. According to Cisco, the processor can perform up to 160 simultaneous processes.

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, said that while a 40-core chip isn't groundbreaking technology, it's a good step for Cisco.

"It is a big deal but not a huge deal," Olds told Computerworld. "Intel has done an 80-core prototype, and other companies have done lots too, but this is the first and biggest networking chip. It should lead to fewer discrete networking devices and thus cut the amount of space needed for networking equipment. There is also assumedly [sic] a power savings when compared to existing single- or dual-core networking processors."

A network processor is an integrated circuit that is in network devices such as routers and security appliances.

In announcing the chip, Cisco did not offer much information on the technology or what it plans to do with it. More information is expected to be disclosed on March 4.

The company did note that it's made big strides in the number of transistors that they're packing onto the chip. Cisco's Silicon Packet Processor (SPP), an integrated circuit, was released in 2004 with 185 million transistors. Today, the QuantumFlow Processor has more than 800 million transistors.

"This new processor offers more than four times the transistor density, which is a huge advance over existing network processors," said Olds. "For IT, that will mean more throughput from their network -- more stuff being routed more quickly through fewer network routers. For users, it will mean faster networks that can handle larger throughput."

Cisco noted that the processor was designed by a team of more than 100 Cisco engineers and has led to more than 40 patent submissions.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?