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Do managed switches have regular x86 CPUs? Do they have proprietary CPUs? Or other types of processors like PowerPC processors or others?

Is it possible to find out what type or model of CPU is inside a particular model of managed switch for example CISCO or AVAYA switches?

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  • In Cisco when you use the command show version the CPU is listed and shown. For instance: cisco WS-C3560CG-8PC-S (PowerPC) processor (revision D0) with 131072K bytes of memory.
    – user36472
    Aug 30 '17 at 14:35
  • You have asked a lot of questions where you have received good answers. You should accept an answer that actually answers your question, otherwise the question will keep popping to the top forever, looking for an answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 30 '17 at 20:27
  • The ones I work on use ARM. The ones I worked on before that used MIPS. Both are very popular embedded processors (ARM especially).
    – user253751
    Aug 31 '17 at 1:43
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 19 '18 at 18:22
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Cisco and many other Network companies, like HP use PowerPC processors in their layer 2 and layer 3 switches. Newer versions like the Cisco 2960X switch uses an APM86392 600MHz dual core by AppliedMicro. This processor has been used for many of the new switch series in different varities.

The larger and more hardcore layer 2/3 switches/routers uses the new Cavium 6230 800 MHz 4-core CPU, like the 3650 and 3850 series.

When you change to data center switches, the CPU is typically an Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU. This is normally on the Nexus series. The Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers uses an RSP processor. The RSP880 has 8 cores, 1.9 GHz while RSP880-LT has 4 cores, 2.4Ghz.

I've probably forgotten a lot, but there's a big difference in CPU's depending on what the purpose of the switch or router is. Also, like the consumer market, CPU's for the commercial market is constantly being upgraded. A change in the CPU architecture takes time and therefore sometimes the same CPU will be used for generations.

In Cisco, to find out what your switch or router CPU is, you can search for the Data Sheet on google for your specific model. If you have CLI access typically show version will give you information about the CPU on the switch or router.

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