AES performance and flexibility boosted by Barco Silex with its innovative BA411E crypto engine
Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium – 15 June 2011 – Barco Silex, Barco's center of competence for electronic design, has announced the enhanced version of its multi-purpose AES crypto engine.
Just like its predecessor, the BA411E supports a wide range of ciphering modes and offers an outstanding ratio performances/resources for ASIC and FPGA. The high level of scalability and flexibility of this IP core eases the support of tricky features. The BA411E allows Barco Silex to generate silicon and power efficient solutions with a high level of performance.
After the announcement of its new BA414E Public Key crypto engine that covers the full spectrum of algorithms used in asymmetric cryptography, Barco Silex is proud to extend its EasyKey family with this innovative, universal AES crypto engine.
EasyKey is the new generation of smart crypto engines developed, validated and licensed by Barco Silex.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, as specified in FIPS Publication 197, is widely used to encrypt and decrypt data for transfers through unsecured channels. In order to further enhance the security level, many different modes of operation have been developed. Besides the basic modes like ECB, CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) or CTR (Counter), specific modes are also used for dedicated applications, like XTS for storage systems. Some standards require a stronger level of security and combine two cipher modes like CCM (802.11i for Wireless LAN) and GCM (802.1AE for Ethernet security). This combination achieves both confidentiality and authentication at the same time.
The encrypt/decrypt process that secures connected devices is often performed in the data flow. The need for high-performance solutions is thus constantly growing while power constraints are more and more severe, especially for mobile applications. For example, securing an USB 3.0 storage device requires data encryption up to 5Gbps.
CCM combines the well-known CTR mode for encryption and the CBC mode to generate or verify a Message Integrity Code (MIC). On the one hand, both modes can be easily computed in parallel; on the other hand, using a single core can lead to more compact solutions.
But what is the impact on performances?
“When there is no dependency between the encryption of two consecutive blocks, a pipelined architecture that processes several blocks simultaneously will deliver the highest performances. Unfortunately, the increased latency of pipelined architectures is a real drawback in feedback mode. The only way to achieve higher throughput is to reduce the critical paths” Philippe Lorent, Product Manager at Barco Silex, explains..
He continues: “Our BA411E IP has been designed to support multi-pipelined architectures and multiple data path configurations. In CCM mode, a single dual-pipelined core that supports interleaved capabilities will make the same job as two cores working in parallel without any performance penalty. Such configuration can process up to 1.5Gbps with less than 18kgates @ 400MHz in a standard 90nm ASIC technology. In CTR mode, the same dual-pipelined core will reach 3Gbps. This optimized architecture is a well-suited configuration for high-speed GCM applications.”
“In addition to this high level of flexibility, the BA411E offers the possibility to efficiently implement S-boxes as simple logic for ASIC or as memories for FPGA. This means that the same level of flexibility and performance can be easily obtained on any existing FPGA technology as well as on any ASIC process” Philippe Lorent continues.
“Offering scalable, portable and flexible solutions with optional interleaved capabilities is the best guarantee to meet customer’s requirements in all cases." Thierry Pauwels, Marketing & Sales support for IP Business at Barco Silex, adds,. "The design team really focused on developing an easy-to-use solution. The BA411E provides suitable interfaces like AXI4-Stream. It also offers useful features that make the integration of the crypto engine easier. The core can be automatically stalled when the input data are not available or when the output FIFO is full. Additionally, a “null cipher” mode can be applied on blocks that are not part of the payload.”
With the announcement of this innovative, universal AES crypto engine, Barco Silex emphasizes its continuous will to offer high added value solutions and services. Barco Silex is committed to help its customers to build more secure designs while meeting stronger constraints of time, budget and power.
About Barco Silex
Barco Silex is a leader in contract engineering services, custom hardware and software development, as well as Intellectual Property (IP). Thanks to its continued stream of aggressive innovations, Barco Silex stays ahead of the competition. Barco Silex’s history as a custom electronic design house (ASIC, FPGA, DSP, Board) specialized in video coding, cryptography, security and memory controllers goes back to 1991, offering the best guarantee for continuous support throughout the complete lifecycle of products.
Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with about 3,500 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 897 million euro in 2010.
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