CAST AES Encryption IP Cores

CAST, Inc. introduced a family of AES IP cores that make it easier for designers to include fast hardware encryption in security-sensitive electronic systems. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is the cryptographic algorithm required by US government agencies and is used extensively to protect data around the world. The new CAST IP covers a range of AES requirements by offering a programmable, multi-purpose encrypt/decrypt core and a leaner pre-configured core with versions optimized for specific applications.

The CAST AES cores are available now, for either ASICs (HDL source code) or FPGAs (netlists). An introductory discount of 20% is available through the end of the year (December 31, 2008).


  • The AES-P programmable core offers multi-use flexibility in a single module, with built-in support for all five common block cipher modes (ECB, CBC, CFB, OFB, and CTR) and real-time switching among them as needed.
  • The AES-C codec core offers a leaner implementation, requiring half the chip area with better performance but supporting just one block cipher mode (selected prior to synthesis).

An efficient design allows each core to handle both encryption and decryption as needed, simplifying system integration. Each can also be real-time switched to use 128-, 192-, or 256-bit long encryption keys, trading off quicker processing with greater protection. Two architectural options are available for each core: one uses a 32-bit data path so it requires less chip area and needs 44 clock cycles for AES processing (with a 128-bit key); the other uses a 128-bit data path so it is a little larger but only needs 11 clock cycles. CAST believes the cores yield implementation results and data transmission rates (throughput) as good or better than competing products.

AES-P with 128-bit Data Path

  • ASIC TSMC 90-nm, 12K Gates, 500 MHz, 5.82 Gbps
  • Altera Stratix-III, 2,133 ALUTs, 22 M9K, 186 MHz, 2.16 Gbps
  • Xilinx Virtex-4, 1,280 Slices, 10 BRAM, 192 MHz, 2.23 Gbps

AES-C with compact 32-bit Data Path

  • ASIC TSMC 90-nm, 5K Gates, 500 MHz, 1.45 Gbps
  • Altera Stratix-III, 630 Slices, 6 M4k, 208 MHz, 693 Mbps
  • XIlinx Virtex-4, 415 Slices, 3 BRAM, 188 MHz, 545 Mbps

More info: CAST, Inc.