Cisco describes the Cisco 7304 as follows:"The compact, modular Cisco 7304 Router is designed for the network edge where high performance IP/MPLS services are required to enable profitability, service differentiation, and business agility. The Cisco 7304 is the most compact (4RU) routing system in the industry to offer route processor redundancy coupled with a comprehensive set of interfaces from DS-1 to OC-48/STM-16 to Gigabit Ethernet. The Cisco 7304 supports (one or) two network processors designed to meet the widest variety of network requirements. The NSE-100, with 2 built-in Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, delivers uncompromising feature acceleration using Cisco's innovative Adaptive Network Processing (ANP) technology - ideal for high-performance carrier service delivery. The NPE-G100, with 3 built-in Gigabit/Fast Ethernet interfaces, offers high-performance, flexible support for the most comprehensive set of Cisco IOS features."
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Designing Your 7304
The 7304 can be provisioned with one or two NPE engine mainboards - the options are the NSE-100 with 2 gigabit ethernet interfaces, the NPE-G100 - that is similar to the 7206VXR's NPE G1 and G2, and the NSE-150, the most recent and powerful NPE available. When one NPE is installed, the 7304 offers 4 SPA expansion slots (2 slots are available when dual NPEs are installed), which are roughly equivalent to the 7206VXR's PA expansion slots. All of the 7200VXR port adapter cards are compatible with the 7304 - to use a PA in the 7304 a special carrier card, the 7300-CC-PA, is required. The 7304 also is compatible with Cisco SPA higher power expansion boards, the MSC-7304-100. The MSC carrier card supports 1 full height and 2 half height SPA cards, and since most SPA cards are half height, the 7304 can support up to EIGHT SPA expansion cards. Popular SPA cards include the SPA-1X10GE (providing a 10 gig interface), the SPA-2X1GE (with 2 gigabit interfaces), and SPA-2XOC3. Because the SPA cards can also be installed in the 6500 and 7600 series devices, Cisco has developed an extensive line - click here for details.
In terms of power supplies, the 7304 can be provisioned with 1 or 2 110V/240V AC or -48V DC power supplies, plus an optional cooling fan module can be installed when only one power supply is present.