Introducing NC57-48Q2D : Low Speed NCS 5700 Line Card

8 minutes read

Paban Sarma, Technical Marketing Engineer, Cisco ([email protected])
Bala Murali Krishna Sanka, Technical Marketing Engineer, Cisco ([email protected])


The Cisco NCS 5500 Series Modular Platforms offers industry-leading 100 GbE and 400 GbE port density to handle massive traffic growth. Latest trends in the Metro Architecture have driven the evolution of the product portfolio. Starting XR release 7.0.2 , the NC57 Line Cards are introduced in the platform to support higher speed and flexible scalablity. With IOS-XR 7.10.1, two new variants of line cards are introduced viz. NC57-48Q2D-S and NC57-48Q2D-SE-S, bringing highly scalable dense low speed line card to the family of NCS 5700 modular line card.


Figure 1: NC57-48Q2D-S/NC57-48Q2D-SE-S Front View

NC57 Series Modular Line Cards for NCS 55xx Chassis

The NC57 Series Line Cards brought the support for 400G with enhanced scalability in the NCS 5500 Modular Chassis Family. The family of line card now offers speed range starting from 1G to 400G at unmatched scalability and functionality. The table below summarises the NC57 series line card family as of today.

Table 1: List of NC57 Line Cards for NCS 55xx Modular Chassis

Line Card PIDLine Card DescriptionFCS Release
NC57-18DD-SE18x400G or 30x200/100G Scale LCIOS XR 7.0.2
NC57-24DD24x400G Base LCIOS XR 7.0.2
NC57-36H-SE36x100G Scale Line CardIOS XR 7.3.1
NC57-36H6D-S24x400G + 12 Flex Port (6x400GE or 12x200GE/100GE) base LCIOS XR 7.4.1
NC57-MOD-S2x400G + 8x50G + 2xMPA Base LCIOS XR 7.6.1
NC57-48Q2D-S32x25G+16x50G+2x400G Base LC IOS XR 7.10.1
NC57-48Q2D-SE-S32x25G+16x50G+2x400G Scale LC IOS XR 7.10.1

NC57-48Q2D Video Introduction

NC57-48Q2D Line Card Specification

The new NCS5700 line card variants are built to bring in dense low speed variant to the fold. The NC57-48Q2D-(SE)-S line card is comprised of multirate SFP28, SFP56 & QSFP56-DD ports. The 32xSFP28 ports can work at 1/10/25G, the 16xSFP56 ports can work at 1/10/25/50G and the 2xQDD ports work at 40/100/200/400G with Breakout support.

Vigor-LS-Ports.png _Figure 2: NC57-48Q2D-(SE)-S Line Card Ports view

Note: 1G support on the SFP56 will be availble later release

Front Panel Ports and Speed

The NC57-48Q2D line card is built to serve as a dense low speed aggregation line card and the very first line card in NCS 5700 modular family to support native 1G. All the front panel ports are multirate in nature and the speed ranges from 1G to 400G.

SFP28 Ports

As described in Figure 2, the first 32 ports (P0 to P31) are of SFP28 form factor and work at 1/10/25G speed. By default, ports comes up as 25G and the speed can be changed with controller optics command per port.

SFP56 Ports

The next 16 ports (P32 to P47) can support a speed upto 50G. These are true multirate port capabale of supporting 1/10/25/50G.

Note: 1G support on the SFP56 will be availble later release

QSFP56DD Ports

Apart from the low speed SFP form factors, the line card variant is also equipped with 2 Nos. of QSFP56DD ports supporting upto 400G. The ports are backward compitable with QSFP+/QSFP28 and support 40G/100G, 200G and breakout options.

Internal Architecture

vigor-ls-block.png Figure 3: NC57-48Q2D-S/NC57-48Q2D-SE-S Building Blocks

The NC57-48Q2D-(SE)-S line card is built with single J2C ASIC and offers a massive throughput of 2.4 Tbps/1BPPS. The scaled variant of the line card, NC57-48Q2D-SE-S comes with OP2 external TCAM that assists in achieveing higher prefix and service scale. All the front panel ports of the line cards are connected to network IFs of the NPU via PHY element which works as retimer to set interface speeds and also enables MACsec capability on all the ports.

The first set of 32 SFP28 ports are coming from 32 set of 25GE NIF on the ASIC via 2x PHY elements. The next set of 16xSFP56 ports are also connected via 2xPHY element , each taking 16x25GE NIF line and connecting 8xSFP56 ports at the faceplate. Thus each individual port works at 1/10/25/50G multirate.

The QSFP-DD ports take out 16x50GE NIF and each group of 8x50GE NIF is converted to one QDD 400G port at the faceplate. This is a true multirate port and natively works at 40/100/200/400G speed. It can be also used in various breakout mode combination.

vigor-ls-port-speed.png Figure 4: NC57-48Q2D-S/NC57-48Q2D-SE-S Supported Port Speed & Breakout Options

Port Speeds & Breakouts Options

By default, the NC57-48Q2D-(SE)-S line cards comes up as an 32x25G+16x50G+2x400G line card. following snippet shows the default port speeds.

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int br | in E0/5
Mon Aug 29 19:57:58.648 UTC
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/0          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/1          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/2          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/3          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/4          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/5          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/6          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/7          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/8          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/9          unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/10         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/11         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/12         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/13         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/14         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/15         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/16         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/17         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/18         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/19         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/20         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/21         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/22         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/23         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/24         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/25         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/26         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/27         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/28         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/29         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/30         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/31         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/32              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/33              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/34              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/35              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/36              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/37              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/38              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/39              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/40              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/41              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/42              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/43              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/44              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/45              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/46              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FiftyGigE0/5/0/47              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FourHundredGigE0/5/0/48        unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
FourHundredGigE0/5/0/49        unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 

The speeds of each port can be set individully using the controller optics configuration. Different supported breakout modes are also configured under the controller optics configuration for the QDD ports.

Snippet showing 100g speed on QDD port

      controller Optics0/5/0/48
		 speed 100g
       RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#sho ipv4 int br | i 0/5/0/48
	   Mon Aug 29 20:08:46.900 UTC
	   HundredGigE0/5/0/48            unassigned      Down            Down    default 

Snippet showing 4x100G breakout on QDD port

controller Optics0/5/0/48
 breakout 4x100

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#sho ipv4 int br | i 0/5/0/48
Mon Aug 29 20:07:42.253 UTC
 HundredGigE0/5/0/48/0          unassigned      Down            Down     default 
HundredGigE0/5/0/48/1          unassigned      Down            Down     default 
HundredGigE0/5/0/48/2          unassigned      Down            Down     default 
HundredGigE0/5/0/48/3          unassigned      Down            Down     default 

Snippet showing 4x25G breakout on QDD port

     controller Optics0/5/0/48
      speed 100g
      breakout 4x25

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int br | in 0/5/0/48
Tue Aug 30 17:36:51.439 UTC
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/48/0       unassigned      Down            Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/48/1       unassigned      Down            Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/48/2       unassigned      Down            Down     default 
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/48/3       unassigned      Down            Down     default 


Snippet showing changing speed for SFP56 ports

controller Optics0/5/0/32
 speed 25g
controller Optics0/5/0/33
 speed 10g

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int brief | in 0/5/0/32
Tue Aug 30 18:25:21.057 UTC
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/32         unassigned      Down            Down     default 

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int brief | in 0/5/0/33
Tue Aug 30 18:25:22.564 UTC
TenGigE0/5/0/33                unassigned      Down            Down     default 

On the NC5748Q-2D series line cards, port speeds are reset based on inserted optics as well. For example, when 1G SFP is inserted on the SFP28 ports or a 10G or 25G optics is inserted in the SFP 56 ports, the corresponding ports will be set to a GigabitE or TenGE or TwentyFiveGE port respectively. However, it is best practice to configure the speed manually, as the reset doesn’t happen after removing the optics from the port.

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  run controller optics 0/5/0/34
Tue Aug 30 21:22:51.676 UTC
% No such configuration item(s)
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  inventory  | in 25G   
Tue Aug 30 21:23:02.160 UTC
NAME: "0/5", DESCR: "NCS 5700 32x1/10/25G + 16x1/10/25/50G + 2x400G Line Card BASE"
NAME: "TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/34", DESCR: "Cisco SFP28 25G SR Pluggable Optics Module"
PID: SFP-25G-SR-S      , VID: V01, SN: INL2453AF2M
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int br | in 0/5/0/34
Tue Aug 30 21:23:20.934 UTC
TwentyFiveGigE0/5/0/34         unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  inventory  | in 1G 
Tue Aug 30 21:25:08.065 UTC
NAME: "GigabitEthernet0/5/0/20", DESCR: "Cisco SFP 1G 1000BASE-SX Pluggable Optics Module 
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int br | in 0/5/0/20
Tue Aug 30 21:25:20.803 UTC
GigabitEthernet0/5/0/20        unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  run controller optics 0/5/0/20
Tue Aug 30 21:25:29.688 UTC
% No such configuration item(s)

RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  run controller optics 0/5/0/48
Tue Aug 30 21:28:35.462 UTC
% No such configuration item(s)
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  ipv4 int br | in 0/5/0/48
Tue Aug 30 21:28:46.336 UTC
FortyGigE0/5/0/48              unassigned      Shutdown        Down     default 
RP/0/RP0/CPU0:NCS5508-II9-43#show  inventory | in Forty
Tue Aug 30 21:28:52.485 UTC
NAME: "FortyGigE0/5/0/48", DESCR: "Cisco QSFP+ 40G SR4 Pluggable Optics Module"

MACsec & Timing

The NC57-48Q2D series line card supports MACsec encryption on all the ports. This is achieved by the use of the PHY element. The following table summarizes MACsec support at different port speed for the type of ports.

SFP 28 ports 0-31SPF56 ports 32-47QDD56 Ports 48,49
1G, 10G,25G10G, 25G, 50G4x10G/40G/4x25G/100G/2x100G/4x100G/400G

Note: 1G MAcsec support on the SFP56 ports (32-47) are not available in the initail release and

This line card variants can support industry standard class C timing on all the ports when the modular chassis is equiped with NC55-RP2-E card.

Note that Class-C timing support on J2 Native mode is in software roadmap

Scalability & Use Cases

The new dense low speed line card comes with high scalability and powered with the flexibility of MDB Profiles. By default, in J2 Native the base line card runs L3MAX and the scale line card runs L3MAX-SE profile. Since we are talking about modular platform, -SE profile is usefull when all the line card in the system are eTCAM variants. The table below summarizes supported MDB profiles for the line card variants.


With L3max-SE profile, NC57-48Q2D-SE-S can hold up to 5M IPv4 or 3M IPv6 prefixes. Also, the presence of eTCAM on this card enables additional features, e.g. BGP-Flow spec, strict uRPF etc.

Summary & References

With the addition of the NC57-48Q2D line cards to the existing portfolio of 400G, 100G and modular line cards, the NCS 5500 modular systems can be deployed in a diverse set of use cases and unleash the full power of Jericho 2 native mode. More information on the line card and the NCS 5500/5700 product family can be found in the below links.

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