VLSI Design

VLSI Design / 1994 / Article
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Digital Hardware Testing

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Volume 2 |Article ID 083851 | https://doi.org/10.1155/1994/83851

A. R. Hurson, S. Pakzad, "Modular Scheme for Designing Special Purpose Associative Memories and Beyond", VLSI Design, vol. 2, Article ID 083851, 20 pages, 1994. https://doi.org/10.1155/1994/83851

Modular Scheme for Designing Special Purpose Associative Memories and Beyond

Received20 Apr 1991
Revised15 Mar 1993


The use of associative memories—storage devices that allow data retrieval based on contents—has often been suggested to speed up the performance of many applications. Until recently, using such content-addressable memories (CAMs) was unfeasible due to their high hardware cost. However, the advent of VLSI has made the class of fully-parallel associative memory cost-effective for implementation. This paper briefly overviews design of several fully parallel associative memories proposed in the literature, concentrating on the design of fully-parallel θ-search CAMs.Existing market realities require that product development be fast and predictable. As a result, design flexibility and automation are becoming increasingly important design features. Using the various CAM designs reviewed, the paper collects the features of these designs into a general, modular CAM organization and describes its major components. The modular CAM organization can be used to design application specific CAMs of varying degrees of functionality. Design and space complexity of a sample associative memory suitable for relational database operations is studied. Finally, the application of genetic algorithms as a means to developing automated design tools for fabrication of modular VLSI design chips is discussed.Given a library of CAM modules, the desired functionality and a set of speed and area constraints, this optimization technique produces a suitable CAM design. The proposed technique has been implemented and its performance measure is briefly addressed.

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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