Since parallel operations on many words are expensive (in hardware), a variety of stratagems are used to approximate associative memory operation without actually carrying out the full test described here. One of these uses hashing to generate a “best guess” for a conventional address followed by a test of the contents of that address.
Some associative memories have been built to be accessed conventionally (by words in parallel) and as serial comparison associative memories; these have been called orthogonal memories. See also associative addressing, associative processor.
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