Inside Secure Announces High-Performance 400G MAC Layer Security (MACsec) IP for Datacenters and the Cloud

Inside Secure has released its newest MACsec IP cores that successfully tackle two major challenges in securing high-speed networking: power consumption and flexible line rate throughput in an optimal die area. Leading chipmakers today are already realizing the benefits of Inside Secure’s 400G MACsec IP in their devices (400 Gigabit/sec).

Security is one of the primary concerns across various levels of the network interfaces. However, by default TCP/IP doesn’t offer any security guarantee, and most other protocols in use today are proprietary. Due to scalability and flexibility, MACsec is now the best choice for Ethernet networks. Datacenters and Cloud infrastructure demand more robust security due to the demands of IoT, artificial intelligence, data analytics and big data; therefore, major silicon vendors now require greater MACsec functionality in their network solutions. In addition, the evolution of Ethernet standards pushes the throughput requirement towards 400G. The Flex Ethernet implementation proposal from Optical Internetworking Forum also brings a requirement to support flexible bandwidth allocation and fat pipes of 500 Gbit/sec and beyond.

To address this, Inside Secure is leveraging 15 years of experience and leadership in the MACsec and IPsec markets, developing its MACsec-IP-163/164 running at 400Gbps line rate for all packet transformations and all packet sizes at just 680MHz. This performance gives silicon device and network equipment makers the ability to use cost-effective Ethernet transport services while encrypting at Ethernet speeds. Customers can now build a data path that supports MACsec processing at full line rate and natively includes multi-channel support with fully-flexible bandwidth allocation.

The architecture decomposition allows implementing IEEE 1588 Precision-Time Protocol with fixed and deterministic latency. Numerous configuration options allow customers to make an optimal choice with respect to number of supported MACsec SecYs and number of channels. MACsec-IP-163/164 supports all ratified MACsec standards. It also has provisions to process FIPS CAVP vectors, required to certify the AES-GCM cipher.

“For Ethernet PHY devices, power and line rate processing is crucial,” said Kevin Beadle, president of Inside Secure’s silicon IP and secure protocols business.

Sameh Boujelbene, senior director of the Dell’Oro Group, commented on the importance of 400 Gbps, saying, “based on current market direction and preference, we currently predict 400 Gbps to start shipping in 2018/2019 and quickly become the next major speed after 100 Gbps. This increase in bandwidth requirement, combined with the ever-increasing security concerns, create the need for new security solutions that can handle flexible line rate throughput within an optimized power consumption budget.”

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