DyTAN: Dynamic Ternary Content Addressable Memory Using Nanoelectromechanical Relays

Hongtao Zhong, Shengjie Cao, Li Jiang, Xia An, Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, Yongpan Liu, Huazhong Yang, Xueqing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ternary content addressable memory (TCAM) is one type of associative memory and has been widely used in caches, routers, and many other mapping-aware applications. While the conventional SRAM-based TCAM is high speed and bulky, there have been denser but slower and less reliable nonvolatile TCAMs using nonvolatile memory (NVM) devices. Meanwhile, some CMOS TCAMs using dynamic memories have been also proposed. Although dynamic TCAM could be denser than the 16T SRAM TCAM and more reliable than the nonvolatile TCAMs, CMOS dynamic TCAMs still suffer from the row-by-row refresh energy and time overheads. In this article, we propose dynamic TCAM using nanoelectromechanical (NEM) relays (DyTAN), and utilize one-shot refresh (OSR) to solve the memory refresh problem. By exploiting the unique NEM relay characteristics, DyTAN outperforms the existing works in the balance between density, speed, and power efficiency. Compared with the 16T SRAM-based TCAM, the 5T CMOS dynamic TCAM, the 2T2R TCAM, and the 2FeFET TCAM, evaluations show that the proposed DyTAN reduces the write energy by up to 2.3x, 1.3x, 131x, and 13.5x, and improves the search energy-delay-product (EDP) by up to 12.7x, 1.7x, 1.3x, and 2.8x, respectively.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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