Security vendor accelerated Encryption Processing Ltd. has unveiled two additions to its line of SSL accelerators, including a chip that can handle up to 10,000 tps.
The AEP10K is the first release under the companys Scalable Public Key Architecture, a design that will eventually support application-specific integrated circuits capable of handling 100,000 Secure Sockets Layer handshakes per second. AEP will also announce this week the general availability of its SEP (Shared Encryption Processor).
The company will demonstrate both chips at the RSA Conference in San Jose, Calif., this week.
The SEP is based on the companys AEP2000 accelerator card and is designed to enable multiple servers on a network to share an accelerator. AEP will sell the chip to OEMs, which will install them in Intel Corp. boxes and sell the finished product as an appliance.
The card supports Windows and Linux, and up to four of the processors can be installed in a single appliance. Customers can then cluster as many as 16 appliances, which could deliver 128,000 tps (transactions per second). The SEP ships with server software.
SSL transactions are notoriously slow compared with typical HTTP traffic, and with more and more Web sites delivering secure content, SSL accelerators are all but mandatory for Web site operators.
AEP, based in Dublin, Ireland, is counting on the continued growth of the wireless networking market to drive demand for its chips.
"The world will become wireless, and everything will have to be encrypted," said William Conner, executive vice president of AEP. Conner said that some governments in Europe are advocating an increase in the standard key size for RSA encryption to 2,048 bits from the current 1,024.
Such a large key size would require four times the processing power needed to process 1,024-bit keys, Conner said.
The AEP10K, meanwhile, is compatible with wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet and will be available next quarter.
"The AEP10K has a compact and efficient design. I expect this architecture could scale to at least 100,000 RSA operations per second using currently available [integrated circuit] manufacturing technology," said Linley Gwennap, an analyst at The Linley Group Inc., in Mountain View, Calif.