A low-power ternary content addressable memory with Pai-Sigma matchlines

Shun Hsun Yang, Yu Jen Huang, Jin Fu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a Pai-Sigma matchline scheme to reduce the compare (search) power of a ternary content addressable memory (TCAM). The proposed matchline does not incur the issues of charge sharing and short circuit current, which typically exist in the hybrid nand-nor matchline. Moreover, the switching activity of the search lines of a TCAM with the proposed matchlines is low. A 32 × 64-bit TCAM with the Pai-Sigma matchlines is implemented to demonstrate the low-power feature. Results show that the compare power of the TCAM can achieve 60% energy reduction compared with the conventional nor-type TCAM. Also, the energy consumption per bit per search of the TCAM is only 2.287 fJ/bit/search.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5993479
Pages (from-to)1909-1913
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2012


  • Content addressable memories (CAM)
  • low power
  • networking
  • ternary CAM (TCAM)


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