PCI Express Links Low Cost Security Processor To Host

Feb. 13, 2013
Freescale's new, low cost C29x crypto coprocessor family provides security services via a x4 PCI Express link.

Developers are finally taking note of the need for more and better security devices as the Internet becomes the norm for network interconnects. This means secure transmission and authentication are necessary. There is increased use of security protocols like SSL and IPsec that place higher computational demands on a system.

Freescale is targeting the network security market with its new, low cost C29x crypto coprocessor family (Fig. 1). Some systems attempt to incorporate cryptography into an system-on-chip but applications that require high performance often turn to chips like the C29x. They can operate without external memory acting as a coprocessor for a host. The chip's Power e500-v2 Core and PCI Express interface allow it to handle high throughput applications and multiple chips can be combined via a PCI Express bridge to deliver even more performance.

Figure 1. Freescale's C29x crypto ccoprocessor can support up to three security engines.

The Power e500-v2 Core has access to 512 Kbytes of SRAM and a 32-bit DDR3 controller for off-chip memory. The S29x family comes with up to 3 security engine cores (SEC). The single core platform uses under 4W with the three core chip topping out under 10W.

The system supports secure boot and secure key storage. It handles all the latest encryption methods include RSA2048. It can deliver over 30K RAS2048b ops/s.

The C29x public key (PK) firmware is included along with a Linux SDK that provides support for PK offload. Freescale also provides C29x coprocessor drivers for x86 and its own QorIQ platforms. This includes an OpenSSL library and a crypto acceleration framework.

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