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Nowadays, the commonly used table lookup scheme for IP routing is based on the so-called classless interdomain routing (CIDR). With CIDR, routers must find out the best matching prefix (BMP) for IP packets forwarding, this complicates the IP lookup. Currently, this process is mainly performed in software and several schemes have been proposed for hardware implementation. Since the IP lookup performance is a major design issue for the new generation routers, in this article we investigate the properties of the routing table and present a new approach for IP lookups, our approach is not based on BMP and significantly reduces the complexity, thus the computation cost of existing schemes can be significantly reduced. We also propose an efficient IP lookup algorithm, with which we improve the binary search on prefixes to 30 millions of packets per second (MPPS) and 5,000 route updates/s under the same experiment setup with an even larger routing table.