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 7.6.1, we have introduced the Modular flavour line card NC57-MOD-S, which supports great flexibility in terms of supported speed and form factors of optics.
Figure 1: The New Cisco NC57-MOD-S Modular Line Card
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 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 PID
|Line Card Description
|18x400G or 30x200/100G Scale LC
|IOS XR 7.0.2
|24x400G Base LC
|IOS XR 7.0.2
|36x100G Scale Line Card
|IOS XR 7.3.1
|24x400G + 12 Flex Port (6x400GE or 12x200GE/100GE) base LC
|IOS XR 7.4.1
|2x400G + 8x50G + 2xMPA Base LC
|IOS XR 7.6.1
NC57-MOD-S Video Introduction
NC57-MOD-S Line Card Specification
Line Card Architecture
NC57-MOD-S is a modular line card available only in Base version. It is based on a single Jericho2 ASIC. It is the successor of the NC5500 modular line card (NC55-MOD-S). It offers a mix of fixed port and two slots for modular port adapters (MPAs). The Fixed ports include 2xQSFP56-DD 100/200/400G ports and 8xSFP56 offering 10/25/50G. The MPA slots have maximum throughput of 800G each. In terms of throughput and packet processing capability, the ASIC can process a massive 4.8 Tbps/2BPPS. The front panel ports utilizes only 2.6 Tbps when all ports and MPAs are utilized at full line rate.
Note: 1G port speed are not supported on the NC57-MOD line card on fixed or MPA based SFP ports
Figure 2: NC57-MOD-S Modular Line Card Fixed Ports & MPA slots
Figure 3: NC57-MOD-S Modular Line Card Archtecture
A single J2 ASIC is the primary building block of the line card. There is also LC CPU complex present in the line card. This line card supports deep buffering with the help of integrated High Bandwidth Memory(8GB). The NIF interfaces are connected to the fixed front panel ports via a PHY that enables MACsec capability in those ports. The two MPA slots are directly connected via a group of NIFs allowing a maximum throughput of 800Gbps per MPA slot. Most of the MPAs contain PHY internally enabling support of MACsec encryption.
Modular Port Adapters
As Mentioned earlier the two MPA slots on the NC57-MOD-S line card have a bandwidth upto 800 Gbps/slot. It supports the new generation of MPAs (Upto 800G/MPA) supporting form factors like QSFP56-DD, 400G CFP2DCO, SFP56 etc. The line card is also backward compatible with the previous generation of MPAs (Upto 400G/MPA). The below table lists out all the MPA modules supported on the line card.
Table 2: List Supported MPAs on NC57-MOD Line Card
|MPA Port Configuration
|2x400G QDD or 4x100/200G QDD
|1x400G CFP2 + 1x400G QDD
|1xCFP2DCO (100G) + 2xQSFP28 (40/100G)
MACsec & Timing
MACsec is supported on all the fixed ports on the NC57-MOD line card. As shown in the figure 3 above, MACsec support is achieved via the MACsec capable PHY in the system. For the MPA ports, MACsec support is on all the MACsec capable MPAs. This is listed in the table 2 above.
NC57-MOD line card supports all the timing functionality supported by NCS 5500 modular platforms. The line card is capable of supporting PTP Class-C timing accuracy, when the chassis is equipped with NC55-RP2-E as the route processor.
Scalability & Use Cases
As NC57-MOD LC is built on the J2 generation of BCM ASIC, it also supports the modular Database profiles (MDB) for scale. We have already covered the MDB profiles in our previous article. Since the line card comes only in base version, it can be configured with both L2MAX and L3MAX MDB profiles when operating in J2 native Mode.
NC57-MOD-S Line card can be inserted in all the three variants of NCS 5500 modular chassis, viz. 5504, 5508 and 5516 with v2 FAN & Fabric Cards. These modular chassis equipped with this line card can be positioned in various roles such as Metro Aggregation , Core and Peering etc. Also, the support of ZR/ZR+ in the fixed QDD port & MPA-2D4H and 400G CFP2DCO optics via the MPA-1FH1D make this line card an important piece in Cisco’s Routed Optical Networking Architecture.
Summary & References
The Cisco NCS 5700 modular line card NC57-MOD-S is a great choice for a versatile, high-performance networking solution. More information on the line card and the NCS 5500/5700 product family can be found in the below links.