Cisco 9336PQ vs. N9K-X9736PQ 40Gb Spine Line Card

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Cisco nexus 9000 switch users always have some questions related to the Cisco ACI. For example, is there a way to take advantage of ISSU/dual sup failover in a 9500 in ACI mode? How to get from Nexus ACI mode to NX-OS mode issue? What are the differences between Cisco 9336PQ and N9K-X9736PQ 40Gb Spine Line Card?

Now, let’s come to the last question: the differences between these 2 pieces of equipment: Cisco 9336PQ and N9K-X9736PQ 40Gb Spine Line Card.

We know that Cisco Nexus 9000 switches operate in Cisco NX-OS Software or Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) modes with ground-breaking Cloud Scale ASIC technology. They are ideal for traditional or fully automated data center deployments. And all Nexus 9K switches can operate in standalone mode. Many also support ACI.

Cisco 9336PQ vs. N9K-X9736PQ 40Gb Spine Line Card


  1. Only supported in ACI
  2. Only to be used as a spine
  3. 36x40G nonblocking (no oversubscription) switching
  4. Support the same 40G transceivers
  5. Both use a mixture of third party and Cisco ASICs


Form Factor

  1. 9336 = fixed switch
  2. 9736 = module for 9500 chassis


  1. 9336 = 36x40G nonblocking
  2. *9504 = Up to 144x40G (128x40G nonblocking)
  3. *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.

Both contain a third party and Cisco Alpine ASIC. 

  1. N9K-C9336PQ-Cisco Alpine ASIC and third party chips are both on the board.
  2. N9K-X9736PQ-Cisco Alpine ASIC is on the line card. Third party chips are on the fabric module.

Topic from

Nexus 9336PQ-Nexus 9300 40GE Switches
Nexus 9336PQ
Usage ACI spine
Form factor 2 RU
Throughput (Tbps) 2.88
100 M/1 GE/10 GE copper ports NA
1/10 GE fiber ports NA
40 GE ports 36
100 GE ports No
Latency (microseconds) Less than 2
Buffer (MB) 72
Power supply (watts); 2 per switch 1200
Typical power (watts) 400
Minimum software version ACI-N9KDK9-11.1
Orderable Yes
Operating System ACI
9736PQ-Nexus 9500 40GE Modules
Usage ACI spine
Front-panel ports 36 x 40 GE
Standalone No
ACI leaf No
ACI spine Yes
Chassis support 4, 8, and 16
40 GE ports 36
Switching performance Nonblocking
Buffer (MB) 42
Typical power (watts) 197
Minimum software version ACI-N9KDK9-11.0
SKUs N9K-X9736PQ
EXAMPLES: Architecture Nexus 9500, Nexus 9300

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