IRG Press Release – Cisco-QFP-PR



John Katsaros
Internet Research Group
(650) 949-3256


Internet Research Group Publishes Research Study On
Cisco’s New QFP – Quantum Flow Processor

Los Altos, CA, May 22, 2008 – Internet Research Group (IRG) today announced the release of its latest report on the network infrastructure, “Cisco QFP – Software Genius or Hardware Folly?”

In February 2008, Cisco introduced the Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000. In addition to the expectable feeds and speeds improvements, the ASR 1000 has important systematic improvements because it is easier to reconfigure and administer with minimal service distribution. At the core of these broader improvements is a greater use of conventional programming as an alternative to programmable hardware or the use of obscure firmware. Underneath this use of high-level language software we find in turn a new Cisco designed-processor– the Quantum Flow Processor (QFP). This 40-core, 4 thread, MIPS instruction set CPU, if and when it is used more broadly throughout the Cisco product family, may set the stage for new, differentiated functionality based on the ability to high-throughput deep packet processing using conventional high-level code that can be shared between products and product generations diminishing engineering costs and product development time in future products.

“Cisco’s $100M investment to create QFP could be a brilliant way to invest in hardware for the purpose of doing more in software,” noted Peter Christy, co-founder of IRG. “But we’ll have to see how broadly the concept is used within Cisco going forward. If successful it will prove to be a very intelligent system design and a difficult act for smaller competitors to follow.”

This report examines both the business and technical aspects of QFP in order to shed light on the return that Cisco may yield from its investment in QFP and the competitive challenges posed by the QFP.

Vendors potentially impacted by QFP include: AMD, Broadcom, Check Point, Extreme Networks, F5, Fortinet, Foundry Networks, IBM/ISS, Juniper, Intel, Tipping Point, Secure Computing and SonicWall.

You can download a table of contents for this study by clicking here.


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About Internet Research Group

The Internet Research Group (IRG) provides market research and market strategy services to product and service vendors. IRG services combine the formidable and unique experience and perspective of the two principals: John Katsaros and Peter Christy, each an experienced industry veteran. The overarching mission of IRG is to help clients make faster and better decisions about product strategy, market entry, and market development. Katsaros and Christy published a book on high tech business strategy Getting It Right the First Time – Praeger, 2005.

Editor’s note: Peter Christy is available to provide background discussion, quotes or references for articles related to network infrastructure and security.

Peter Christy, principal
Internet Research Group
(650) 559-2222 ext 301

John Katsaros, president
Internet Research Group
(650) 949-3256

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