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Ultra HD Video Challenges SP Networks: Are you ready, Cisco CRS?

February 25, 2010 - 1 Comment

By now, if you haven’t experienced the movie Avatar in the theater, you most certainly have seen the buzz. Surpassing Titanic as the highest-grossing film is a feat in itself. However, of even more interest is that Avatar’s sales breakup indicates higher revenue from 3D and Imax showings. And history shows that which starts out in a theater eventually makes its way to our living rooms and quite possibly our mobile devices. Take for example, color movies, dolby surround sound, widescreen formats, video projectors and more. This leads to an inevitable conclusion: it’s the coming-out party for three-dimensional visual experiences.

It’s natural that people want more…of everything. The demand for more mobile access is clear in my previous blog. I highlighted that the explosion of devices is leading to the shortage of a key Internet resource: IP addresses. Cisco is addressing (no pun intended) this challenge with the unique Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution, with the CRS platform playing a key part. Now, people want more from their viewing experiences. Three-dimensional video technology is making its way to commercial viability. When it begins to arrive into our homes, 3D TV will be adapted for delivery on IP networks leading to more massive bandwidth needs. How much bandwidth are we talking about? At this stage the standards for 3D HDTV are in evolution. Conservative estimates peg each 3D HD channel to consume 10 to 15 Mbps. For a city with half-million subscribers that translates to upwards of 7.5 Tbps of capacity.

To meet this scale, IP networks need to be beefed up adequately. Fortunately, for carriers who have built their networks on Cisco, this is easy. The multi-chassis architecture of the CRS platform is designed to handle this growth. Built on the proven 3-stage Benes fabric the platform scales easily from single to multiple chassis. In fact, this upgrade is non-disruptive. Free (Illiad Group), a broadband operator in France, doubled the power of its IPTV network without service interruption. Today, the working scale of a CRS platform is a massive 10.24 Tbps as seen here in this video. It’s built with 8 line-card chassis interconnected with a fabric chassis.

So, now you know what the world’s largest router looks like. Your neighborhood could all be watching various 3D HD content on their TV sets simultaneously, including the movie Avatar live in 3D on a cinema channel, without a hitch over the CRS platform. We ARE ready…right now. Viva la multi-chassis!

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  1. Very nice Post. I’ll come back again!