Virage Logic Targets Internet Applications - Embedded CAMs Triple the Flow Of Traffic Over the Network
FREMONT, Calif., June 19 -- Virage Logic Corporation, the leader in embedded memory, today announced the industry's first family of embedded Content Addressable Memories (CAMs), which are key components in hardware-based search engines. These search engines are key enablers in moving traffic through a network. The first member of the product family is the Custom-Touch(TM) NetCAM -- a compiler that generates high-speed ternary CAMs that can be embedded into IC designs for use in network applications such as routers and switches.
As the explosive growth of the Internet continues to put a tremendous amount of pressure on the network, routers and switches need to examine packets of information and make forwarding decisions every few nanoseconds. Hardware-based search engines, which consist of CAMs, SRAM and logic, are better equipped than old-generation, software-based search engines to handle the high-traffic volume on the Internet.
``CAMs have emerged as the search engines of choice because of their ability to conduct high-speed table lookups that are required to meet the ever-growing traffic on the Internet,'' said Krishna Balachandran, director of product marketing at Virage Logic. ``Virage Logic is the best choice for fast, area-efficient, embedded CAMs that can be rapidly integrated into designs because of the company's core competency in SRAM and CAM circuit technology and architecture, coupled with our expertise in compiler technology.''
Virage Logic's NetCAM compiler offers design engineers tremendous flexibility to build search engines with increased performance. The NetCAM compiler delivers completely characterized timing and power information giving designers the flexibility to make tradeoffs at any time during the design cycle to get an optimized system. In addition, the compiler generates a host of EDA models allowing them to easily adapt the CAMs to their design flows. Hardware-based search engines based on NetCAM technology can perform table lookups at wire-speed, conducting as many as 165 million searches a second. This is a performance increase of several orders of magnitude over both software-based and standalone CAM solutions.
In order to get up to a 5x-speed increase over standalone CAMs, the NetCAM compiler implements a part-matched scheme. Virage Logic's part-matched scheme integrates or ``matches'' the CAM, SRAM and additional special-purpose logic efficiently in layout, achieving the highest performance gain. Part-matching involves matching the routing pitches on all the blocks and results in less interconnect between components. As a result, it reduces wire delay and area overheads associated with longer wires. Another speed advantage that an embedded CAM sub-system offers is that there are no I/O pad and board wire delays, unlike standalone SRAM-CAM sub-system configurations. In addition, embedded CAMs can be cascaded to build larger table sizes or widen the bandwidth of searches, resulting in increased throughput.
The granularity of the search may vary with the application and involve pattern searches. Pattern searches are required in search engines for packet classification in network routers and switches, and for other applications such as implementing authentication functions for firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). The NetCAM compiler generates synchronous, one-port, ternary CAMs equipped for pattern searches. CAMs generated by the compiler have sizes ranging from 1Kb to 32Kb and word widths up to 64 bits. (For more information on the NetCAM architecture and ternary CAMs, please refer to the NetCAM product backgrounder.)
``The continuing evolution of the Internet depends, in large part, on the ability of semiconductor companies to provide innovative solutions to reduce or remove altogether, system bottlenecks,'' said Rich Wawrzyniak, senior analyst at Semico. ``With the NetCAM compiler, companies can efficiently embed CAMs, enabling them to provide the speed and quality of service required to move traffic through the Internet.''
Availability and Pricing
Custom-Touch NetCAM is available immediately on 0.18u TSMC process. Pricing is based on a license fee and is:
- $200,000 (U.S. list price) for a single configuration
- $750,000 (U.S. list price) for a single, node-locked compiler license that can generate any configuration.
About Virage Logic
Virage Logic is a memory Intellectual Property (IP) semiconductor company and leads the industry in application-specific embedded memory. The company's products include optimized memory compilers, tools that enable the development and reuse of memory, and custom memory design services. Virage Logic's customers are design engineers in leading semiconductor and electronic systems companies designing ASIC and system-on-a-chip (SoC) applications. Founded in January 1996, the company has over 100 employees and is privately held. It is located at 46501 Landing Pkwy. Fremont, Calif. 94538. Telephone: 877-360-6690 (toll free) or 510-360-8000. Fax: 510-360-8099. For more information, please visit www.viragelogic.com.
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