The Cisco event ranged over a wide swath of areas from software-defined networks to silicon photonics.
Execs promised the Cisco ONE initiative will provide a consistent set of APIs to access the company’s three major operating systems used in an estimated $180 billion in installed communications systems worldwide. That will enable “an app ecosystem for networking,” said Dave Ward, a vice president of engineering in Cisco’s emerging technology group.
Ward also said Cisco has sent to select customers line cards using the silicon photonics and optical processing technologies it acquired with Lightwire and CoreOptics. He called silicon photonics “absolutely, positively the most interesting thing in ASIC technology today.”
Separately, Stephan Monterde, a senior Cisco technical manager, said the company is talking to large partners such as U.K. carrier Orange about collaborating on assessments of new technologies. Monterde runs the Cisco Technology Radar program that drafts quarterly reports on dozens of emerging technologies for the company’s internal use.
In addition, Ishwar Parulkar, a chief technology officer in Cisco’s service provider group, described his work leading the first system design to emerge from the company’s Bangalore office. The ASR 901 is a low cost, low power backhaul switch for cellular networks now available worldwide.
“Globally relevant products will emerge from places like India and China because they will see some problems first,” he said.
Similarly, Aglaia Kong, chief technologist for Cisco China, described the CE300, Cisco’s design for a tablet-like classroom computer. It is one of many efforts responding to large China-government contracts in K-12 education. The Linux system supports wired and wireless nets for a third the cost and a fifth the energy of a PC, she claimed.
Cisco’s tele-presence video conferencing system, shown at the press event, is now available in a software-only version certified to work with a handful of digital medical devices.
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