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A High-Speed and Low-Energy Ternary Content Addressable Memory Design Using Feedback in Match-Line Sense Amplifier

Authors: Syed Iftekhar Ali, M. S. Islam


In this paper we present an energy efficient match-line (ML) sensing scheme for high-speed ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM). The proposed scheme isolates the sensing unit of the sense amplifier from the large and variable ML capacitance. It employs feedback in the sense amplifier to successfully detect a match while keeping the ML voltage swing low. This reduced voltage swing results in large energy saving. Simulation performed using 130nm 1.2V CMOS logic shows at least 30% total energy saving in our scheme compared to popular current race (CR) scheme for similar search speed. In terms of speed, dynamic energy, peak power consumption and transistor count our scheme also shows better performance than mismatch-dependant (MD) power allocation technique which also employs feedback in the sense amplifier. Additionally, the implementation of our scheme is simpler than CR or MD scheme because of absence of analog control voltage and programmable delay circuit as have been used in those schemes.

Keywords: content-addressable memory, energy consumption, feedback, peak power, sensing scheme, sense amplifier, ternary.

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