Routing tables are generally not used directly for "packet forwarding in modern router architectures; instead, they are used to generate the information for a smaller "forwarding table. A forwarding table contains only the routes which are chosen by the "routing algorithm as preferred routes for "packet forwarding. It is often in a compressed or pre-compiled format that is "optimized for hardware storage and "lookup.
This router architecture separates the "Control Plane function of the routing table from the "Forwarding Plane function of the forwarding table. This separation of control and forwarding provides uninterrupted performance.