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Open AccessArticle

Zi-CAM: A Power and Resource Efficient Binary Content-Addressable Memory on FPGAs

1
Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, CECOS University of IT and Emerging Sciences, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(5), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8050584
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Applications of Recent FPGA Architectures)
Content-addressable memory (CAM) is a type of associative memory, which returns the address of a given search input in one clock cycle. Many designs are available to emulate the CAM functionality inside the re-configurable hardware, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), using static random-access memory (SRAM) and flip-flops. FPGA-based CAMs are becoming popular due to the rapid growth in software defined networks (SDNs), which uses CAM for packet classification. Emulated designs of CAM consume much dynamic power owing to a high amount of switching activity and computation involved in finding the address of the search key. In this paper, we present a power and resource efficient binary CAM architecture, Zi-CAM, which consumes less power and uses fewer resources than the available architectures of SRAM-based CAM on FPGAs. Zi-CAM consists of two main blocks. RAM block (RB) is activated when there is a sequence of repeating zeros in the input search word; otherwise, lookup tables (LUT) block (LB) is activated. Zi-CAM is implemented on Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA for the size 64 × 36 which improved power consumption and hardware cost by 30 and 32%, respectively, compared to the available FPGA-based CAMs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Associative memory; content-addressable storage; field-programmable gate arrays; FPGA-based CAM; memory architecture; SRAM; lookup table Associative memory; content-addressable storage; field-programmable gate arrays; FPGA-based CAM; memory architecture; SRAM; lookup table
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Irfan, M.; Ullah, Z.; C. C. Cheung, R. Zi-CAM: A Power and Resource Efficient Binary Content-Addressable Memory on FPGAs. Electronics 2019, 8, 584.

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