[c-nsp] Cisco 8000

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at seacom.mu
Fri Dec 20 02:42:27 EST 2019

On 20/Dec/19 08:25, Saku Ytti wrote:

> I just don't understand this point, both NCS5500 and Cisco8k chips
> were essentially designed by the same people, because we call one
> 'merchant' (what ever that means) and one 'vendor' they somehow become
> fundamentally differently positioned?

The words "merchant" or "vendor" is not the issue, Saku. The issue is
designing these things as one or independently.

When Broadcom design their chips, they aren't doing it from the
perspective of what the vendors are going to incorporate with their
hardware, software and service roadmaps. Similarly, when the equipment
vendors are building software for platforms that are going to be based
on Broadcom chips, they aren't necessarily building them for whatever
future Broacdom have in mind.

Of course, they all share plans with one another, but it's not as
tightly integrated as when OEM's are using their own internal teams to
design silicon, software, hardware and services.

This is why we come across strange issues on boxes that we think can be
solved with a software fix, only for the vendor to come back and say,
"Ummh, it's actually a chip limitation with Broadcom. We expect that
limitation to be fixed in the next chip release". Meanwhile, you've
blown millions of $$ on deployment of the hardware, and can't quite swap
it out with the boxes that present the new merchant chip.

Some of you may remember my post on such issues:


... and this is for a Layer 2-only use-case :-\.

> Cisco is selling SiliconOne/Pacific to facebook/msft et.al. who then
> build their own products using the silicon. Hopefully they'd be even
> more progressive and sell it to competitors to ensure market has other
> options than Jericho.

Here, we both agree.


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