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Why TCAMs not used in High End Routers ?

Unanswered Question
May 12th, 2006
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Hello all,


It is my impression that Cisco uses TCAMs in switch products,

but does not use TCAMs in routers. Please correct me if this is not so.

In high end routers such as the GSR and CRS-1 I can't seem to find any TCAMs.

On the other hand, I see a strong preference for ASICs.

Cisco people seem to always have a good reason to do or not to do something.

So, I suspect that since they do not do it, it must be not good.

But why exactly they do not do it ?


I have a few suspicions myself: unacceptable power consumption, hard to update,

potential TCAM exhaustion (read this in a paper about 4500 switch product),

complex to make them work good, expensive, not scalable design as number of entries grows.

Is it any of the above ? Or something else ? Does anyone have an idea ?

Or do they use TCAMs somewhere in those routers and I did not came across the information ?


Any answers to help clarify this are appreciated in advance.


Regards,

Maria

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marikakis Sat, 05/13/2006 - 04:50
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It seems to me that TCAMs are actually used at least in the CRS-1.

Does anyone know if the GSR uses them as well ?


Thanks,

M.

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