Comp-TCAM : An adaptable composite Ternary content-addressable Memory on FPGAs

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Journal / PublicationIEEE Embedded Systems Letters
Online published15 Nov 2021
Publication statusOnline published - 15 Nov 2021


Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) having software-like reconfigurability and hardware-like performance are adopted as developing platforms to implement complex systems, i.e., software-defined networks (SDNs). TCAM is not present in modern FPGA, but rather it is used as a softcore where needed. The hardware structure of an FPGA is flexible but rigid; the elemental structure is fixed and can be used in a limited number of ways. Existing FPGA-based TCAMs are based on one or another type of available FPGA memories, resulting in a shortage of the other type of memory for the rest of the system. Our proposed architecture uses only those memory elements of FPGA that are redundant and not used by other parts. In this paper, the proposed architecture, comp-TCAM, combines both block RAM (BRAM) and lookup table RAM (LUTRAM) to implement TCAM architecture, which is the first-ever TCAM of its nature; that eliminates the dependency on the type of memory and is adaptable to the requirement of the system. Evaluation results show the feasibility, scalability, and effectiveness of the proposed TCAM architecture compared to the existing TCAM architectures. The hardware resource utilization is reduced by 41.6% compared to state-of-the-art FPGA-based TCAM with no harm to the system’s performance.

Research Area(s)

  • Adaptable TCAM, comp-TCAM., content-addressable storage, field-programmable gate arrays, FPGA-based TCAM, software-defined networks, table lookup