Computer Hardware Terms, Glossary and Dictionary
Associative memory is not on a traditional Von Neumann computing architecture because each address in an associative memory has a small amount of computing power. This allows such operations as "Do any of you memory locations contain this data?" to execute in just a few cycles rather than the approach of searching through all memory locations for the data that is necessary with traditional architectures. Content addressable memory (CAM) is a type of Associative Memory.