Discrete high-performance Search Processors and TCAMs (Ternary content addressable memories) are typically used for layer 2 to layer 4 lookups in higher-end Edge and Core Equipment where packet lookup requirements are greater than 50 million searches per second.
Two main trends in the networking and communication market are fueling the increased need for higher performance search capabilities. First, the transition from IPv4 addresses to the longer and much more complex IPv6 addresses. Second, the sheer explosion of traffic created by new mobile and social applications is driving 100Gbps port rates and also driving high-capacity line cards.
According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), by the end of 2015, annual global IP traffic will increase four-fold from 2010, video traffic will increase 32-fold and mobile traffic will increase 26-fold. The Linley Group forecasts that these drivers will push the market for search processor silicon to greater than $550 million in 2015.
The NEURON Search family delivers up to 4x the capacity per chip enabling the replacement of four existing state-of-the-art 40 Mbit TCAMs, while the NEURONMAX Search family enables virtually unlimited expansion at less than half the power consumption while dramatically slashing the cost, making them ideal for a wide range of Enterprise, Data Center and Wired/Wireless Service Provider applications.
Expensive, power hungry legacy TCAMs and low performance algorithmic search processors until now have slowed the potential wider adoption of search technology. Cavium researchers took a completely different approach and developed breakthrough search technology using a range of mathematical and neural pattern recognition concepts that remove many of the critical constraints.
Additionally, Cavium search technology is said to set the bar for silicon efficiency, improving up to 2x the number of rules that can be stored per unit area, leading to lower power and cost. This new cost power metric is expected to drive wider adoption of search technology.
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