San Jose, Calif. - Cavium Networks is calling its Nitrox Plus security processors the first single-chip devices able to accelerate multiple virtual private network, e-business, storage, wireless and XML applications simultaneously, with guaranteed bandwidth reservation per application.
The chips are based on a multicore architecture in which each core can run any protocol-such as Internet Protocol Secure, Secure Sockets Layer, iSCSI and Extensible Markup Language digital signatures-thereby enabling a flexible mix of dynamic, priority-based bandwidth per protocol. They are designed for use in routers, switches, Web and application servers, server load balancers, firewalls, storage-area networks, wireless gateways and VPN gateways.
The Nitrox Plus 1430 processor supports a 64-bit, 66-MHz PCI bus or 64-bit, 133-MHz PCI-X bus along with a 64-bit double-data-rate DRAM for local context or session storage. It targets applications requiring 2.5 Gbits/second of secure bandwidth and 20k RSA operations per second. The Nitrox Plus 1540 has an 8-bit, 500-MHz HyperTransport bus with a 64-bit DDR DRAM. It serves applications that need 5 Gbits/s of secure bandwidth and 50k RSA operations/s.
The chips support bulk-encryption algorithms such as 3DES, AES and RC4 at speeds of up to 5 Gbits/s, and up to 50k RSA operations and 40k Diffie-Hellman operations per second. A Nitrox software architecture with an adaptive-processing capability makes it possible to allocate processing power between session setup and bulk-data encryption, depending on real-time traffic.
Dedicated administration-processing resources handle functions such as tamper protection, error logging, statistics collection, billing information and private-key generation. A macroprocessing feature cuts bus bandwidth needs and host CPU load by concatenating multiple cryptographic and protocol operations into a single macro command.
Maximum power consumption is 5 watts for the Nitrox Plus 1430 and 10 W for the 1540. In lots of 1,000, a 350-MHz Nitrox Plus 1430, in a 600 TSBGA package, is priced at $395. A 350-MHz Nitrox Plus 1540, in a 600 BGA package, is $595. An evaluation kit, priced at $9,995, includes middleware, drivers and a board with a PCI, PCI-X or HyperTransport connector in a PCI-card form factor. Chips are sampling now and are due for production in the third quarter.
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