Internet has witnessed its paramount function transition from host-to-host communication to content dissemination. Named Data Networking (NDN) and Content-Centric Networking (CCN) emerge as a clean slate network architecture to embrace this shift. Pending Interest Table (PIT) in NDN/CCN keeps track of the Interest packets that are received but yet un-responded, which brings NDN/CCN significant features, such as communicating without the knowledge of source or destination, loop and packet loss detection, multipath routing, better security, etc. This paper presents a thorough study of PIT for the first time. Using an approximate, application-driven translation of current IP-generated trace to NDN trace, we firstly quantify the size and access frequencies of PIT. Evaluation results on a 20 Gbps gateway trace show that the corresponding PIT contains 1.5 M entries, and the lookup, insert and delete frequencies are 1.4 M/s, 0.9 M/s and 0.9 M/s, respectively. Faced with this challenging issue and to make PIT more scalable, we further propose a Name Component Encoding (NCE) solution to shrink PIT size and accelerate PIT access operations. By NCE, the memory consumption can be reduced by up to 87.44%, and the access performance significantly advanced, satisfying the access speed required by PIT. Moreover, PIT exhibits good scalability with NCE. At last, we propose to place PIT on (egress channel of) the outgoing line-cards of routers, which meets the NDN design and eliminates the cumbersome synchronization problem among multiple PITs on the line-cards.