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Ternary content addressable memories (TCAM) have become a popular hardware device for fast routing-table lookups. However, the high power consumption in TCAM increases power supply and cooling costs, and limits the router design to fewer ports. Based on an analysis of the prefix hierarchy in routing tables, the authors propose an optimization model to reduce the power consumption for bursty access patterns. This model can reduce the average power consumption by a factor of 11.