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One of the most critical resource management issues in the use of Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) for packet classification/filtering is how to effectively support filtering rules with ranges, known as range matching. In this paper, a Dynamic Range Encoding Scheme (DRES) is proposed to significantly improve TCAM storage efficiency for range matching. Unlike the existing range encoding schemes requiring additional hardware support, DRES uses the TCAM coprocessor itself to assist range encoding. Hence, DRES can be readily programmed in a network processor using a TCAM coprocessor for packet classification. A salient feature of DRES is its ability to allow a subset of ranges to be encoded and hence to have full control over the range code size.
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