Installing internal modules

The Cisco Nexus 3550-F Fusion (formerly ExaLINK Fusion) is a modular product that can be upgraded and expanded over time, via the addition of FPGA modules and x86 processor modules. Installation of these modules can be done by the user in the field, or the device can be returned to the factory for upgrade.

When ordering an FPGA module, you will be supplied with:

  • 1x FPGA Module
  • 1x Power cable
  • 2x M3x12mm screw
  • 2x M3 washer
  • 2x M3 spring washer
  • 1x M2.5x25mm screw
  • 1x M2.5x16mm screw

When ordering an x86 module, you will be supplied with:

  • 1x x86 Module
  • 1x Power cable
  • 2x M3x12mm screw
  • 2x M3 washer
  • 2x M3 spring washer

figure 1: both modules presented here (FPGA left, x86 right)

Both modules presented here (FPGA left, x86 right)



Care must be taken during this installation process to prevent damage to the sensitive electronics in the Nexus 3550-F and internal modules. Please open a case with Cisco TAC if you have any questions about these instructions, or have any difficulty during the installation process.

  1. Before installing an internal module ensure the Nexus 3550-F is unpowered.
  2. Unscrew the lid of the Nexus 3550-F and remove it.

figure 2: image of Nexus 3550-F with its lid removed

The Nexus 3550-F with its lid removed, both module bays empty

When installing an internal module, care must be taken to ensure the module is aligned properly with the mainboard. There is a large fine pitch connector on the underside of the internal module that connects to a mating connector on the mainboard. The mainboard has an outline showing the alignment position of each of the internal modules to assist with this process, highlighted in green below:

figure 3: mainboard alignment markers

Internal module alignment markers highlighted on the mainboard

  1. Insert the module into the desired bay. Start by ensuring the mounting holes at the rear of the module are aligned with the mounting posts in the chassis, as shown below:

figure 4: module aligned with chassis mounting holes

Ensure module mounting holes align with mounting posts on the chassis

  1. Carefully align the front of the module with the mainboard. As can be seen, the outline of the module circuit board matches the markings on the mainboard.

figure 5: module alignment with mainboard

Module aligned with markings on mainboard

  1. When the front of the module is aligned with the mainboard, ensure the rear is still aligned with the mounting holes.
  2. Apply firm pressure downwards to the mounting handle on the internal module to mate the 2 connectors. You should not need to use excessive force - if the connectors are aligned properly you will feel them snap into place with firm pressure.
  3. Screw the module into place at the 2 rear mounting holes with M3 screws. The flat washer should make contact with the circuit board, so the split washer should be placed onto the screw before the flat washer.
  4. If the FPGA module is being installed, insert the additional 2 screws into the heatsink and screw into place. The longer M2.5 screw is used on the left hand side of the heatsink, and the shorter M2.5 is used on the right.
  5. Attach the appropriate end of the power cable to the 4-way power connector at the rear of the module.
  6. Attach the power cable to the 2x2 connector on the mainboard, as shown below

figure 6: power cable connection points on the mainboard

The power cable connection points on the mainboard

  1. Ensure both ends of the connectors are mated firmly, such that the locking latch engages to prevent the cable from shaking loose.
  2. Position the power cable alongside the module heatsink to prevent it from interfering with the lid, as shown below.

figure 7: module power cable

Module power cable positioned alongside heatsink

  1. Replace the lid and screws

This page was last updated on Apr-06-2021.