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Juniper Networks’ Next-Gen Silicon ‘Not In Same Ballpark’ As Cisco Silicon One

‘[Cisco’s] Silicon One is absolutely not in the same ballpark as Express 5 at all. We really feel this represents a brand-new entry within the market [and] we’re really excited about having real density leadership with this chip,’ says Juniper’s VP of Automated WAN Solutions Brendan Gibbs.

Juniper Networks is appealing to hyperscalers, service providers and large enterprises with new additions to its MX Series routing portfolio, a new networking chipset generation, and the Juniper Express 5 silicon, which is going head-to-head with Cisco Silicon One.

The Juniper Express 5 silicon offers “the industry’s highest” non-blocking throughput of 28.8 terabits in a single offering. Cisco’s Silicon One P100 silicon, by compression, offers 19.2 terabits per second (Tbps) — 33 percent less throughput than Juniper’s new Express 5 silicon, said Brendan Gibbs, vice president for Juniper’s Automated WAN Solutions business.

“[Cisco’s] Silicon One is absolutely not in the same ballpark as Express 5 at all,” he said. “We’ll have a massive advantage in cost and power relative to [Silicon One] because we have so much more capacity in one chip than they do.”

Express 5 silicon offers 45 percent better power efficiency than previous chipsets, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said.

“We’re the biggest [chip] and the lowest power consumption for our customers,” Gibbs added. “We really feel this represents a brand-new entry within the market [and] we’re really excited about having real density leadership with this chip.”

[Related: Juniper Builds On AI-Powered SD-WAN Portfolio That’s ‘Leapfrogging’ The Competition ]

Juniper introduced its first Trio chipset for the Juniper MX Series routers in 2009. The company’s first fully programmable application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) taught Juniper that silicon isn’t a one size fits all offering and wouldn’t be able to address every customer’s use case. With that in mind, Juniper in 2012 Juniper introduced the Express line of ASICs for its PTX Series routers, which were developed for high-bandwidth applications in network core and peering use cases.

Now, the company is launching a new generation of networking chipset, the Trio 6. The Trio 6, the latest upgrade to the portfolio, was built to optimize multi-service use cases and designed with scale and programmability in mind for the delivery of complex edge service, Gibbs said.

“Trio 6 distinguishes itself by having the most intelligence. It’s really optimized for multi-service edge usage, meaning multiple services at the same time, whether it be for business VPN, consumer broadband, mobility, data center, when edge any sort of uses for any and all of those at the exact same time,” he said. “It’s really designed for the unknown because it’s so extensible and lends itself well for continuous evolution.”

Purpose-built ASICs, said Gibbs, are superior to serving all network domains with one silicon offering. “Cisco and Nokia have just one chip and they try to make one chip do all things. What you end up with is a jack of all trades and master of none,” Gibbs said.

Built on Trio 6 ASIC, the MX Series of routers now includes the new Juniper MX10K, which offers the first 400G-capable 9600 line card. The MX10K portfolio is a multi-service edge solution that can support converged requirements across a variety of wireline and wireless service use cases, Juniper said. It can also reduce power consumption by 70 percent compared to Juniper’s previous generation of Trio. Juniper is also introducing a compact routing platform called the MX 304 and the MX 10004, a small chassis shell that can support modular line cards, like the 9.6 terabit card.

For partners, the latest MX Series that are drawing on Trio 6 silicon lends itself to a resale environment, especially where compact platforms and turnkey solutions that are easy to consume are king, Gibbs said.

“You’re not going to get fired for buying Juniper with its platform anchored by Trio, especially as new protocols arises and traffic patterns change overnight,” he said. “What we saw with the start of this pandemic is that customers that were running Trio are among the most successful because MX has the intelligence to adapt quickly — you don’t need to swap out a platform or a line card, it just works.”

Express 5 silicon will be available in shipping product at a future date, Juniper said. The Trio 6 chipset is available now. The MX LC9600 Line Card is orderable now and the MX304 and MX10004 will be available for order during the first and second half of 2022, respectively.

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