A method and system for routing fiber channel frames using a fiber channel switch element is provided. The switch element includes, a look up table that is indexed by domain, area, a virtual storage area number and/or AL_PA values of frames entering the fiber channel switch element; and logic for generating a column select signal that is used to select a column from the look up table for frame routing information. The switch element also includes logic for validating a frame route by performing word depth match. A register is used to load look up table entries and column entries are selected based on the column select signal. The method includes, indexing a look up table with plural fiber channel frame header values; selecting a table value for routing a fiber channel frame based on a column select signal; and routing the frame if a route is valid.

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