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A really fast switch

On Tuesday, March 9, Cisco announced a new generation of its telecom switch. The switch, Carrier Routing System CRS-3, builds on the company’s previous model, the CRS-1. For video professionals, this new switch provides a hint at the bandwidth that tomorrow’s IP circuits will be capable of providing.

The new CRS-3 handles up to 322Tb/s of traffic. Just how fast is 322Tb/s? Glad you asked.

The switch is so fast you download the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in just over one second. The switch could allow every man, woman and child in China to make a video call, simultaneously. Of most interest to Broadcast Engineering readers, this switch is so fast that you could download every motion picture ever made in less than four minutes!

The switch is currently being used by AT&T on a trial basis to move traffic between New Orleans and Miami. The test is part of the world’s first field trial of 100 Gigabit backbone network technology.

The reason for discussing a telecom high-speed router here is to illustrate the dramatic improvements being made in IP infrastructure bandwidth. Broadcast and production engineers need to keep an open mind when thinking about next-generation video routers.

We’ve been carrying an exhaustive series on computer networks, IP signal handling and IT technology in the magazine and in the "Transition to Digital" e-newsletter. Keep reading, and you too will be ready for multi-Gigabit video backbones in your own facility.

Here’s a brief video discussing the performance of the new Cisco CRS-3 Internet router. Will you ever have one of these in your production house? No. Will you ever have an IP router with similar capability? For sure.