Security

TCAMChecker: A Software Approach to the Error Detection and Correction of TCAM-Based Networking Systems

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Executive Summary

Ternary Content Addressable Memories (TCAMs) are widely used in network devices carrying out the core operation of single-operation lookups. TCAMs are the core component of many networking devices such as routers, switches, firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to errors caused by environmental factors such as radiation. TCAM errors may have significant impact on search results. In fact, only one error in a TCAM can cause 100 % of search keys to have wrong lookup results. Therefore, TCAM error detection and correction schemes are needed to enhance the reliability of TCAM-based systems. All prior solutions require hardware changes to TCAM circuitry and therefore are difficult to deploy.

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