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How to upgrade Cisco IOS Software on Catalyst 6500/6000, 5500/5000 and 4500/4000 family Layer 3 routing modules
These modules are either feature cards attached to the Supervisor Engine, or separate modules installed in the chassis:
Multilayer Switch Feature Card I (MSFC)
Multilayer Switch Feature Card II (MSFC2)
Multilayer Switch Module (MSM)
Route Switch Feature Card (RSFC)
Route Switch Module (RSM)
The Supervisor Engine runs the Catalyst OS (CatOS) system software. The routing modules run Cisco IOS Software locally, and have their own command line, software configuration, and CPU. In contrast, the Cisco IOS Software that replaces this CatOS and Cisco IOS combination is addressed elsewhere.
Note: In switches with redundant Supervisor modules, software image synchronization is possible only on Supervisors and not on the MSFCs. Complete the same procedure for software upgrades on both the MSFCs separately in switches with redundant Supervisor modules.
While you upgrade, you can go straight from your current version to the latest one. Use the Cisco Feature Navigator in order to compare different Cisco IOS images, and see what features are added or removed. First, search for your current image, then choose the Compare Images, and find the image you want to upgrade to and it comparew them for you.