Cisco 7500 Series Routers

Field Notice: RSP QA ASIC Issue

December 8, 1997

Products Affected

This field notice affects the following Route Switch Processors (RSP) (spares only):
  • RSP4=
  • RSP2=
  • RSP1=
  • RSP7000=
This notice affects only these RSP products that meet the following conditions:
  • They were delivered as spares.
  • They were delivered between the dates listed in the table below.
  • They are not currently in operation (inserted into a chassis).

NOTE: RSPs currently operating in a chassis are not affected by this field notice.

Table 1: RSP Suspect Delivery Dates
RSP Model (spares only) Start Date End Date
RSP4= May 26, 1997 June 7, 1997
RSP2= May 26, 1997 July 9, 1997
RSP1= May 26, 1997 September 22, 1997
RSP7000= May 26, 1997 September 22, 1997

Problem Description

During a short period between May 1997 and June 1997, a delivery of ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) used in the RSP family of products arrived in Cisco Manufacturing. These particular ASICs caused the RSP to immediately fail during the system's final test. This happens after they have successfully passed all board-level diagnostics. RSPs that went through system test (all RSPs that were ordered as part of a system) were screened out and do not represent a problem in the field.

The process that was in place at that time for RSPs ordered as spares allowed a small number of these products with this potential failure condition to escape undetected and be shipped to customer locations.

It should be noted that the number of faulty ASICs is estimated to be very low.

Problem Symptoms

A small percentage of spare RSPs shipped between the dates listed in Table 1 have a potential of failing immediately upon software initialization when inserted into a chassis.

The failure symptom for suspect RSPs is: When a spare RSP is inserted into a system for the first time, it will fail shortly after traffic begins to flow. If the spare RSP works when placed into service, it does not contain one of the faulty ASICs. The RSP may remain in service, as the failure mode of the ASIC is either good or bad.


Board-level diagnostics to catch this error have been placed into service with all in-stock products re-tested on the dates listed in Table 1. Products received after these dates are not at risk.

If you received any RSP product or any spare RSP products between the start and end dates listed in Table 1, You can use the serial number identifier tool to determine if your RSP is one of the suspect ones. (Use of this tool is available only if you are a registered CCO user, and you have logged in.)

The serial number identifier tool will match the entered serial number with numbers in the suspect RSP ASIC database. RSPs not placed into service should also be checked to determine if they may be affected. If your serial number matches one of the affected boards, a Return Material Authorization (RMA) form will be generated. Completing this online form will allow you to receive a replacement RSP. The serial number should be only seven digits; do not enter a leading zero (0).

Even if a match is made, it is still unlikely that the RSP has the faulty ASIC and will have any problems associated with it. The number of faulty ASICs is very low. However, Cisco will provide a free replacement to ensure each customer has a working spare.

NOTE:    If your board is not one of the affected boards, when you enter the serial number, a message will appear stating, "The serial number of the RSP you entered is NOT affected."

Alternatively, the spare RSP may be placed into service. If Cisco IOS successfully loads, the RSP can be considered good.

For More Information...

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at (800) 553-24HR, (408) 526-7209, or send e-mail to