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Tiny AES cores


Not all encryption requirements demand gigabit performance, and Helion recognise that in order for IP to be an effective choice, it should never be a compromise. Where many IP vendors may limit you to a choice of one or two solutions, Helion are different. We have developed a range of four AES core families each offering a different speed/area balance which together cover any throughput requirement up to many tens of Gbps.....but with plenty of emphasis placed on the lower end of the spectrum too. This way you can choose the most optimal fit for your particular requirement. In this section we look at the Tiny AES core family.

Helion Tiny AES Solutions

The Helion Tiny AES core is our smallest solution, and was designed specifically for applications where data rates are low but minimal area is absolutely paramount. This requirement applies to many applications, for example set-top boxes, mobile wireless communications systems or satcomms. The result is the smallest fully featured AES solution available today spanning all ASIC and FPGA technologies.

Despite its extremely small footprint, the Tiny AES core is a very capable performer. It offers full AES encryption and decryption using any combination of the three AES key sizes (128-, 192-, and 256-bits). It can be used to implement any of the common block cipher modes (take a look at our AES modes pages for more information). The table below outlines the kind of area and performance achievable using the Tiny AES core.

Measured Area and Performance
128-bit keysize ECB Encryption and Decryption including hardware key expansion

ASIC (0.13um CMOS) >100 Mbps <5k gates -
Altera Cyclone III/IV (C6) >35 Mbps 434 LEs 3 M9Ks
Altera Cyclone V (C6) >140 Mbps 232 ALMs -
Altera Cyclone 10 GX (E5) >230 Mbps 234 ALMs -
Altera Arria II GX (C4) >170 Mbps 249 ALMs -
Altera Arria V GX (C4) >170 Mbps 233 ALMs -
Altera Arria V GZ (C3) >170 Mbps 232 ALMs -
Altera Arria 10 (E1S) >270 Mbps 255 ALMs -
Altera Stratix IV (C2) >120 Mbps 245 ALMs -
Altera Stratix V (C1) >210 Mbps 236 ALMs -
Lattice ECP3 (-8) >26 Mbps 293 slices 1 RAM
Microsemi AX/RTAX (-2) >23 Mbps 773 cells 3 RAMs
Microsemi ProASIC3 (-2) >21 Mbps 829 tiles 3 RAMs
Xilinx Spartan-3A (-5) >100 Mbps 177 slices -
Xilinx Spartan-6 (-3) >150 Mbps 65 slices -
Xilinx Artix-7 (-3) >180 Mbps 87 slices -
Xilinx Virtex-5 (-3) >200 Mbps 65 slices -
Xilinx Virtex-6 (-3) >230 Mbps 64 slices -
Xilinx Virtex-7 (-3) >270 Mbps 91 slices -
Xilinx Kintex-7 (-3) >270 Mbps 94 slices -
Xilinx UltraSCALE (-2) >320 Mbps 55 CLBs -
Xilinx UltraSCALE+ (-2) >450 Mbps 56 CLBs -

If the performance of the Helion Tiny AES core does not match your needs, try looking at our Standard AES cores for higher throughput capabilities.

Product Briefs

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 helioncores@heliontech.com and we will be pleased to discuss how we can assist with your individual requirements.

Product Brief Quicklinks
What about FIPS compliance?

All Helion AES cores have been successfully FIPS certified. Click here for full details.....
Are you new to AES....?

Take a look at our Whitepaper for an easy to read overview on AES in hardware.....

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