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athambi
Beginner

any difference between CAM & MAC table

Hello,

   Just want to undertstand if there is a difference between MAC and CAM  table .If so what is the difference ..

If there is no difference ; then when do we refer it as CAM and MAC table

Ajai

7 REPLIES 7

Hello,

   Just want to undertstand if there is a difference between MAC and CAM  table .If so what is the difference ..

If there is no difference ; then when do we refer it as CAM and MAC table

Ajai

Hi Ajai,

I don't believe there is a difference as such.  CAM simply refers to the way the switch uses memory (in a content-addresable) manner to look up the MAC address to port association.

Hope to Help !!

Ganesh.H

Remember to rate the helpful post

Not a big difference. A switch switches Ethernet frames by keeping a table of what MAC  addresses have been seen on what switch port. The switch uses this table  to determine where to send all future frames that it receives. In Cisco  terminology, this MAC table is called the CAM table (content addressable  memory).

Peter Paluch
Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

Hi Ajai,

In addition to the nice replies by other friends here, a "MAC table" tells you what data does the table hold, in this case, MAC addresses. A "CAM table" tells you what is the technical nature of this table - a content-addressable memory, or a cache, that performs parallel and fast lookups.

So the MAC table refers to the content while the CAM table refers to the organization and principle of operation. A CAM table may hold many different kinds of data.

Best regards,

Peter

in Cisco world the 2 terms are interchangeable as the MAC table is contained in the CAM as all the gentlemen above nicely explained already.

Riccardo

Mike Ghahremani
Beginner

They are actually the same but in CAM table you can see more in the output.
CAM (content-addressable memory) is Cisco's fancy word.
My teacher always used them interchangeably.
I hope this can be informative for you.
www.pheniix.com

mudassirs46
Beginner

  • Although the new CCNA 200-301 OCG says these two terms are used interchangeably, however in CCNA 200-301 OCG, Volume 1, Pg. 122 it also says that "the size of the MAC Address table depends on the size of the CAM" & describes CAM Table as the actual Physical Memory which stores the Logical MAC Addresses.
  • "The bigger the CAM size is the more MAC entries it can store".
  • The newer CAM Table can store up to  8000 entries as opposed to the older 4096 maximum limit.

Being more of a purist, in this case, I would agree with Peter vs. Cisco, although when trying to pass a CCNA test, it would be helpful to know Cisco considers the two terms interchangeable, although, again I agree with Peter, they are not.