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aes processor asic core

AES Processor


Helion has developed a unique stand-alone AES processor solution, aimed specifically at applications requiring flexible ASIC implementation of AES-based cryptographic algorithms, where the exact choice of block cipher mode must be flexible and future-proofed.

Based around our mature product-proven AES cores, detailed functionality is completely defined by microcode firmware which is loaded into a small RAM at power-up time; field updates for standards tracking or patching security weaknesses are therefore easy to maintain, without any silicon changes.

Firmware is available to support most of the basic modes of AES, plus the commonly used AES-CCM authenticated encryption scheme, and firmware paging offers the possibility of dynamic mode selection. Support for additional modes or even proprietary AES modes can be provided via our design services capabilities; please contact Helion to discuss this in more detail.

The AES processor has an easy to use native interface, but it is also fully supported by an ARM AMBA compatible DMA controller which allows most message processing to be off-loaded from the local processor; the per-message overhead is then reduced to only a handful of register accesses.

So, by using this Helion solution it is possible to commit to silicon ahead of understanding your detailed mode requirements, and track standards or future needs when your product is out in the field.

Main Features

  • Supports most modes of AES, including several popular combined encryption and authentication modes
  • Includes automatic generation/checking of message digest (MIC) for authentication
  • Aimed at 100 to 200 Mbps throughput - ideal for many applications
  • Bus-mastering DMA controller option for direct connection to ARM AHB system bus
  • Stand alone - requires minimal per-message support from system processor
  • Based around Helion's mature and product-proven AES cores
  • Mature design - well proven in production silicon
  • Very low gatecount designs; high ASIC clock speeds achievable
  • Behavioural models and FPGA versions available for rapid evaluation
  • Simple and flexible multi-use licensing terms negotiable


For more detailed information on this or any of our other products and services, please feel free to email us at helioncores@heliontech.com and we will be pleased to discuss how we can assist with your individual requirements.

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