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MX Series FPC and PIC Overview

Flexible PIC Concentrators (FPCs) and Physical Interface Cards (PICs) function similarly to MICs and MPCs. PICs provide physical interfaces for the router and install into FPCs which provide packet forwarding services. Each FPC supports up to two Physical Interface Cards (PICs). You can install PICs of different media types on the same router as long as the router supports those PICs.

PICs receive incoming packets from the network and transmit outgoing packets to the network. During this process, each PIC performs framing and high-speed signaling for its media type. Before transmitting outgoing data packets, the PICs encapsulate the packets received. Each PIC is equipped with a media-specific ASIC that performs control functions tailored to the PIC's media type.

An FPC occupies two Dense Port Concentrator (DPC) slots on an MX Series router. FPCs install vertically in the MX960 router chassis, and horizontally in the MX480 and MX240 router chassis. The maximum number of supported FPCs varies per router:

  • MX960 router—6 FPCs

  • MX480 router—3 FPCs

  • MX240 router—1 FPC

MX240, MX480, and MX960 routers support 2 PICs per FPC. The maximum number of supported PICs varies per router:

  • MX960 router—12 PICs

  • MX480 router—6 PICs

  • MX240 router—2 PICs

Blank PICs resemble other PICs but do not provide any physical connection or activity. When a slot is not occupied by a PIC, you must insert a blank PIC to fill the empty slot and ensure proper cooling of the system.