Xilinx Virtex-5Q FPGA Solution for High-Grade Cryptographic Processing

The National Security Agency (NSA) has approved Xilinx’s programmable aerospace and defense solution for use in Type 1 Crypto Systems. The approval of the Virtex-5Q FPGA device and related physical security IP core, which together help form the Xilinx Targeted Design Platform for secure communications, extends an on-going relationship between the NSA and Xilinx. Xilinx’s solution enables developers to meet the demanding requirements of high-grade cryptographic processing applications, including the requirements set forth by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Crypto Modernization initiatives.

The approval covers critical elements of the Virtex-5Q device secure communications Targeted Design Platform. The solution provides a single chip crypto (SCC) design methodology and a newly-released Security Monitor 2.0 IP core for physical design security. SCC combines the functionality of multiple FPGAs into a single device, enabling A&D product developers to reduce the size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) of systems through higher levels of integration. The complete solution also includes dual embedded PowerPC 440 processors, tamper-proofing capabilities and Xilinx’ isolation verification tool.

The Virtex-5Q solution and associated methodology can isolate user functionality within a single device. The NSA completed a fail-safe analysis effort for the Virtex-5Q family to confirm that the Xilinx SCC technology enables individual regions of the FPGA to be isolated from each other in the event of failure through accidental or intentional means. The proven SCC design flow and verification process provides higher levels of integration and increased system reliability. Although designed to meet NSA requirements, the SCC solution provides isolation techniques useful in other high reliability applications such as commercial avionics governed by FAA DO-254 and commercial cryptographic systems governed by NIST FIPS-140.

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