FPS-RAM: Fast Prefix Search RAM-Based Hardware for Forwarding Engine

Kazuya ZAITSU  Koji YAMAMOTO  Yasuto KURODA  Kazunari INOUE  Shingo ATA  Ikuo OKA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B   No.7   pp.2306-2314
Publication Date: 2012/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.2306
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network System
Keyword: 
IP router,  address lookup,  ternary content addressable memory (TCAM),  power consumption,  field programmable gate array (FPGA),  circuit design,  

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Summary: 
Ternary content addressable memory (TCAM) is becoming very popular for designing high-throughput forwarding engines on routers. However, TCAM has potential problems in terms of hardware and power costs, which limits its ability to deploy large amounts of capacity in IP routers. In this paper, we propose new hardware architecture for fast forwarding engines, called fast prefix search RAM-based hardware (FPS-RAM). We designed FPS-RAM hardware with the intent of maintaining the same search performance and physical user interface as TCAM because our objective is to replace the TCAM in the market. Our RAM-based hardware architecture is completely different from that of TCAM and has dramatically reduced the costs and power consumption to 62% and 52%, respectively. We implemented FPS-RAM on an FPGA to examine its lookup operation.