Cisco introduced the Versatile Interface Processor (VIP) to provide a scalable distributed architecture on top of an already proven platform. The VIP is based on a single motherboard and multiple port adapters that can have mixed media types (hence the name versatile).
VIPs are essentially routers mounted on Cisco 7500 interface processor cards. Each VIP has its own processor, packet memory, and main memory, and each runs its own copy of IOS. Figure 6-7 shows a high level architecture of the VIP.
Figure 6-7. VIP Architecture
The VIP is a fully CyBus-capable interface processor, meaning it ...