All communication performed on the Internet has its source and destination. It starts from mobile phones, tablets, laptops or PCs as a source, and travels to Internet provider’s routers. From there, it traverses the Internet via cables, to the service provider core network switching through many devices along the way until its destination is reached. All of this happens in just a few milliseconds!
Cisco devices (switches and routers) cover about 90% of the Internet network infrastructure in the world. The demands for the Internet are always more speed and more bandwidth, even by you as the end user (I’m sure you at least once measured your Internet connection speed). In order to satisfy these demands, Cisco took a revolutionary approach by taking Internet speed to its limits.
Cisco has released a new silicon which will be a part of all families of devices that will drive the future of the Internet. The revolution is in the universal architecture of the silicon and the ability to be integrated in all market segments to unify the Internet infrastructure. The new “Cisco Silicon One” single chip solution can handle up to 10.8Tb (Terabits) of traffic (scaling to a midsized city network traffic) and up to 270Tb on a multi-chip solution! Cisco will integrate “Silicon One” in all of their products for Service Providers, Enterprises, Campus and mega-scale datacenters.
Why is this so important? Firstly, Cisco will shape the future of the Internet with the new platforms. Secondly, SYRMIA is proud to be a significant part in this big Cisco’s achievement.
SYRMIA is a software company which specializes in system software and tools. It has close to 100 engineers in beautiful offices in Banja Luka, Belgrade and Niš. We are proud Cisco partnered with us to build next generation products for the Internet.
SYRMIA has been working with Cisco for more than a year, offering its services in developing software for the new Silicon One. This journey was more than exciting, because we felt from the beginning that we were part of something big.
Working on software for the Silicon One, has been challenging. We have multiple teams established, counting more than 20 engineers, who work on different parts of the solution in a very complex system.
One of the core values of this device is its programmability and working on a compiler for the new architecture is always interesting. Silicon One is programmed using the P4 (P4.org) language, specifically designed for the data plane of network devices. Simulation is the second important part in development that helps testing before the silicon reaches the lab and most importantly, it helps the HW engineers test their designs. All of this helps reduce the risk of HW bugs, heavily reducing manufacturing costs and time-to-market.
A major part of the software is the Cisco Silicon One SDK (Software Development Kit). It is the operational software that runs on all routers/switches powered by Cisco Silicon One™. It is a highly advanced software product, developed in C++11 and Python, and coupled with the Cisco Silicon One ASIC it enables always-on traffic and world-class routing scale.
System integration & testing
The last and most critical part is validation. The ongoing integration on a system level and testing the limits of this kind of silicon is not always simple. You can imagine challenges we face while creating similar environments for many of the silicon products and reproducing various scenarios which may happen in a real-life environments, like complex forwarding flows, congestion in different stages of processing, backpressure and HW components thresholds. The team understands the complex packet handling in the hardware, which is important to verify all actual features (QoS, Security, …) and its corner cases.
During this journey, we have built a great team which handles complex tasks. We learned a lot from Cisco about packet processing by working directly with world leading network experts and NPU hardware designers. This is just the beginning, as we continue to grow and hire new talented people with networking and system software development background.
We are planning to be there with Cisco along the way into the future - check out our open positions on CAREERS page and join us on this journey!
Also, read more about Silicon One:https://newsroom.Cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=2039386