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Cisco Systems Routers

Cisco Systems manufactures several routers with MIPS processors. Most of these routers are relatively modern, and sometimes are still prohibitively expensive on eBay or via other mechanisms of purchase.


Cisco has a very bland history when it comes to the class of CPUs in their hardware. Cisco is often known for their (a)buse of m68k CPUs for their routers, as well as x86 CPUs for their firewalling and VPN solutions.

Cisco later switched to MIPS-based solutions from a variety of vendors, most notably PMC-Sierra and Broadcom.


Model Number CPU CPU Clockspeed Slot/Bus
2500 Motorola 680EC30 20MHz -
2600 Motorola PowerQUICC 40MHz NM
2691 RM7061A ? NM (PCI)
3620 IDT R4600 80mhz NM (PCI)
3640 IDT R4600 100MHz NM (PCI)
366x RM5271 225MHz NM (PCI)
3725 RM5200 240MHz NM (PCI)
3745 RM5200 350MHz NM (PCI)
4000 Motorola 68030 40MHz NP ?
4500M IDT Orion RISC 100MHz NP ?
4700M IDT Orion RISC 133MHz NP ?
AS5300 R4700 150MHz ?
7000 Motorola 68040 25MHz ?
7010 Motorola 68040 25MHz Cbus
7200 NPE100 R4700 150MHz PA ?
7200 NPE150 R4700 150MHz PA ?
7200 NPE200 MIPS ? 200MHz PA ?
7200 NPE225 MIPS ? 225MHz PA ?
7200 NPE300 MIPS ? 300MHz PA ?
7200 NPE400 RM7000 350MHz PA ?
7200 NSE-1 RM7000 263MHz PA ?
7200 NPE-G1 BCM-1250 800MHz PA ?
7200 NPE-G2 PowerPC 7448 1.67GHz PA ?
7505 R4600 100MHz CyBus
7507 R4600 100MHz ?
7513 R4600 100MHz
RSP1/2 R4600 100MHz ?
RSP4 R4600 200MHz ?
RSP8 R4600 250MHz ?


Cisco BootROM firmware is used for permanently storing startup diagnostic code (ROM Monitor, ROMmon).

The main task for the BootROM is to perform some hardware diagnostics during bootup on the router (Power On Self Test - POST), and to load the Cisco IOS software from the Flash to the Memory.


To get access to the BootROM send a BREAK sequence (i.e. Ctrl-a f in the Minicom) during Cisco boots up.

Recent BootROMs has a hidden priv command. This command opens about 15 additional BootROM commands, simply debugger, disassembler, extended hardware test e.t.c. The priv requres engineering password. The password generation algorithm was found, the password for your Cisco may be obtained online:


BootROM provides a simply API for the IOS (prinf, get version e.t.c.) Unlike many other firmware, syscall MIPS command is used to call firware services. Register a0 contains syscall number.

The sample "Hello, world!" program may be found there.