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System Architecture Overview


The router architecture consists of two major components:

  • Packet Forwarding Engine—Performs Layer 2 and Layer 3 packet switching, route lookups, and packet forwarding.

  • Routing Engine—Provides Layer 3 routing services and network management.

The Packet Forwarding Engine and the Routing Engine perform independently but communicate constantly through a 100-Mbps internal link. This arrangement provides streamlined forwarding and routing control and the ability to run Internet-scale networks at high speeds. Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between the Packet Forwarding Engine and the Routing Engine.

Figure 1: System Architecture
System Architecture