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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070700

Integrated Optical Content Addressable Memories (CAM) and Optical Random Access Memories (RAM) for Ultra-Fast Address Look-Up Operations

Department of Informatics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Academic Editor: Kyriakos E. Zoiros
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers)
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Abstract

Electronic Content Addressable Memories (CAM) implement Address Look-Up (AL) table functionalities of network routers; however, they typically operate in the MHz regime, turning AL into a critical network bottleneck. In this communication, we demonstrate the first steps towards developing optical CAM alternatives to enable a re-engineering of AL memories. Firstly, we report on the photonic integration of Semiconductor Optical Amplifier-Mach Zehnder Interferometer (SOA-MZI)-based optical Flip-Flop and Random Access Memories on a monolithic InP platform, capable of storing the binary prefix-address data-bits and the outgoing port information for next hop routing, respectively. Subsequently the first optical Binary CAM cell (B-CAM) is experimentally demonstrated, comprising an InP Flip-Flop and a SOA-MZI Exclusive OR (XOR) gate for fast search operations through an XOR-based bit comparison, yielding an error-free 10 Gb/s operation. This is later extended via physical layer simulations in an optical Ternary-CAM (T-CAM) cell and a 4-bit Matchline (ML) configuration, supporting a third state of the “logical X” value towards wildcard bits of network subnet masks. The proposed functional CAM and Random Access Memories (RAM) sub-circuits may facilitate light-based Address Look-Up tables supporting search operations at 10 Gb/s and beyond, paving the way towards minimizing the disparity with the frantic optical transmission linerates, and fast re-configurability through multiple simultaneous Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) memory access requests. View Full-Text
Keywords: Optical Content Addressable Memories; Optical Random Access Memories; Address Look Up; Optical Matchline; Semiconductor Optical Amplifier Mach Zehnder Interferometers; photonic integration; monolithic InP platform Optical Content Addressable Memories; Optical Random Access Memories; Address Look Up; Optical Matchline; Semiconductor Optical Amplifier Mach Zehnder Interferometers; photonic integration; monolithic InP platform
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Vagionas, C.; Maniotis, P.; Pitris, S.; Miliou, A.; Pleros, N. Integrated Optical Content Addressable Memories (CAM) and Optical Random Access Memories (RAM) for Ultra-Fast Address Look-Up Operations. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 700.

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