Linux-based wireless mesh suite adds crypto engine support

R. A. Hettinga rah at
Sat Sep 25 08:21:01 EDT 2004


Linux Devices

The leading embedded hardware
& software design magazine

Linux-based wireless mesh suite adds crypto engine support

Sep. 24, 2004
The first commercial software product to exploit the cryptographic
acceleration engine in newer Via processors has hit the market, according
to Via. LocustWorld's MeshAP-Pro is a commercial version of MeshAP, Linux
software for self-organizing networks of wireless access points. MeshAP-Pro
targets larger mesh network operators such as urban service providers.

In addition to selling and supporting MeshAP-Pro software, LocustWorld also
offers blackbox hardware platforms for wireless routers, such as the
MeshBox, a Linux-based mini-ITX system based on Via mini-ITX boards.

LocustWorld sells Linux-based blackboxes for wireless routers based on Via
mini-ITX boards

The processors in newer Via mini-ITX boards based on C5P Nehemiah cores
include the PadLock Hardware Security Suite, which includes the PadLock RNG
(random number generator) and the PadLock ACE (advanced cryptography
engine). PadLock ACE performs low-level processing of the algorithms used
in AES (advanced encryption standard), a kind of cryptography defined by US
government standards.

According to LocustWorld CEO Richard Lander, PadLock engines enabled
LocustWorld to write software that achieves extremely high throughputs of
encrypted data, when run on Via boards or boards from vendors such as
WinSystems, VersaLogic, Yamashita and many others that use Via Centaur
processors. "Using the on-die AES encryption from the latest VIA processors
we can achieve an encryption layer with hardly any overhead on the CPU.
Network performance using the VIA PadLock ACE is close to the speed of
un-encrypted communications, achieving high-strength encryption without the
associated performance impact, even on large networks with high traffic.
The result is virtually transparent encryption," Lander stated.

Via last week released a PadLock SDK (software development kit) for those
interested in using the security-oriented x86 instructions available on Via
processors with PadLock Hardware Security Suite. The kit includes tools,
documentation, and example code that developers can "directly copy into
other programs." Example code includes zip compression utilities, and a
data-scrubber said to make deleted files "virtually unrecoverable."

Via has launched a PadLock Certification Program to assist ISVs
(independent software vendors) in adding PadLock support to their
applications. More details about VIA PadLock initiative are available

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to majordomo at

More information about the cryptography mailing list