During September 1997, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
the main standards body in the US, requested submissions for a new Advanced
Encryption Standard (AES); this was to be a new encryption standard to replace
the existing Data Encryption Standard (DES), which had been in place for more
than two decades.
In October 2000, an algorithm called Rijndael was selected to be the final choice
for AES. This was fully ratified by the NIST in November 2001, since which time AES
has become the encryption algorithm of choice for all new commercial developments
requiring a high degree of data security.
AES is a 128-bit block cipher, which supports a choice of three key sizes
(128, 192 and 256-bits) according to the level of security required.
It is a fast and efficient algorithm, and is considered secure enough for
most current data security applications; for example in 2003 the US Government
approved it for use with classified US government data.
Since its launch as a NIST standard, its use has become widespread
across the world, where it forms the basis for many security protocols;
for example 802.11 WLAN security, IPsec and the IEEE 1619 standard for
data-at-rest on disk and tape.
Helion AES solutions
Helion was first to market with a set of commercial AES IP cores back in
the summer of 2001, so by now we offer the most comprehensive set of mature
and product proven AES solutions available anywhere for use in ASIC and FPGA.
If you are simply looking for hardware acceleration of the bare AES algorithm,
look no further; our four families of AES engine cover all possible requirements
from ultra low area/low data rate solutions, right up to multi-gigabit rates,
with everything in between. There are more details on these cores below.
If your specific requirement is for one of the more advanced "modes" of AES,
for example AES-CCM, AES-GCM, AES-XTS or maybe
one of the simpler classic block cipher modes like
CBC, CFB, OFB or CTR, we have a comprehensive set of product
proven solutions in place for all of these needs. Take a look at our
AES modes pages for more information on these
powerful and efficient solutions.
In addition to basic mode support, we have solutions for a number of higher
level security applications available. These include
key wrapping, plus application specific hardware acceleration hardware for
IPsec, SSL, MACsec and a number of the recent wireless, storage and video/cinema
standards. For more details of these, see our
security applications page.
Which AES core should I choose?
Helion was the first company in the world to offer commercial AES solutions in hardware,
and given this head start, our cores are now extremely well proven in real silicon
products many times over. Our latest generation AES cores are extremely simple to use,
and highly versatile, so that they can be easily integrated into any AES design requirement.
We offer a range of AES cores with different gatecount/speed combinations,
so that you can choose the most efficient for your application. We are proud
to say that our solutions are class leading in each category.
Each core type comes in versions for encryption and decryption, and
offers support for any of the AES keysizes (128-, 192- and 256-bits),
either separately or in combination.
Our cores are available in versions specifically aimed at a number of
target technologies; generic RTL source code for use in
and highly optimised netlists for use with
Altera, Lattice, Microsemi (Actel) and Xilinx
FPGA technology. Our FPGA cores use highly developed techniques which permit
our programmable solutions to come close to the performance of ASIC.
In addition, we offer options unique to Helion, which provide especially
low gatecount versions where space and power consumption are paramount;
please contact us for more details on these solutions.
||Ultra Low Gatecount
||High Speed with Low latency
||Ultra High Speed
|| >30 Mbps
|| >500 Mbps
|| >3 Gbps
|| >40 Gbps
|| >20 Mbps
|| >350 Mbps
|| >2 Gbps
|| >25 Gbps
For full details of speed and area in various end target technologies,
follow the links to
AES, according to your application.
For full details of all the Helion AES core options, please download the appropriate Product Brief in PDF format below.
AES Cores - ASIC
AES Cores - FPGA
Click here for an easy to read overview on AES in hardware (PDF format)
For more detailed information on this or any of our other products and services,
please feel free to email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be pleased to discuss how we can assist
with your individual requirements.