No, just because is layer-3 switched, it doesn't necessary mean software forwarding.
Policy Feature Card
Complementing the MSFC is the policy feature card (PFC). The PFC is a daughter card that sits on the supervisor base board and contains the ASICs that are used to accelerate Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, store and process QoS and security ACLs, and maintain NetFlow statistics.
The Policy Feature Card 3 (PFC3) is a standard inclusion with the Supervisor Engine 720 and provides centralized forwarding performance up to 30Mpps. It contains a Layer 2 and a Layer 3 forwarding engine. The Layer 2 engine is responsible for:
• Layer 2 MAC address lookups into the Layer 2 CAM table.
• Looking into the packet headers to determine if this switching operation will be a Layer 2 or a Layer 3 operation. If it is going to be a Layer 3 operation, then it will hand off the packet to the Layer 3 engine for further processing.
The Layer 3 Engine is responsible for:
• NetFlow Statistics collection.
• Hardware based forwarding of IPv4, IPv6 and MPLS tagged packets
• QoS mechanism for ACL classification, marking of packets, and policing (rate limiting).
• Security mechanism for validating ACL rules against incoming packets.
• Maintaining Adjacency entries and statistics
• Maintaining Security ACL counters
The PFC3 (Figure 7) supports hardware based Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, processing security and QoS ACLs in hardware and the collection of NetFlow statistics.