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ACI SPINE - difference between Cisco 9336pq and N9K-X9736PQ 40Gb Spine Line Card

Level 1
Level 1

ACI SPINE question -

Can anyone tell me the differences between these 2 pieces of equipment? Other than the fact that one is a stand alone switch and the other is a 9500 line card, my understanding is that they have the same internals/ASICs? My understanding is that the difference is really just one of scale, is that true?

thank you

3 Replies 3

Jason Williams
Level 1
Level 1


Only supported in ACI

Only to be used as a spine

36x40G nonblocking (no oversubscription) switching

Support the same 40G transceivers

Both use a mixture of third party and Cisco ASICs


Form Factor

9336 = fixed switch

9736 = module for 9500 chassis 


9336 = 36x40G nonblocking 

*9504 = Up to 144x40G (128x40G nonblocking) 

*9508 = Up to 288x40G (256x40G nonblocking)

* Assumes all 9500 line card slots are populated with 9736PQ modules. To achieve full bandwidth, you will need 6 fabric modules

Reference Links:

Cisco Nexus 9500 Platform Switches for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Data Sheet

Cisco Nexus 9504 Switch

Cisco Nexus 9508 Switch

Cisco Nexus 9336PQ ACI Spine Switch

Cisco 40-Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix

thanks - I understand the differences on the data sheets, my questions is more from an under the hood perspective...

Is the 9336PQ ASIC the same as the N9K-X9736PQ line card?  My understanding is that they are the exact same, from a circuit/guts perspective, but I want to confirm this.  We are answering a larger argument, as to the purpose of the 9336PQ in our environment.  Is it safe to characterize the 9336PQ as a N9K-X9736PQ line card, installed in a 2u metal box with 2 PSUs?



Both contain a third party and Cisco Alpine ASIC. 

N9K-C9336PQ - Cisco Alpine ASIC and third party chips are both on the board.

N9K-X9736PQ - Cisco Alpine ASIC is on the line card. Third party chips are on the fabric module. 

The chipsets on both devices are the same

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