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UltraSPARC T1 & Crypto

Darren Moffat
Senior Software Architect

On the 14th we announced
the new UltraSPARC T1 chip. I've had the great privilege of working on and off with the team that developed this since very soon after we aquired some of the technology from Afara.

As should be no surprise the area I've worked in is the cryptographic functionality of the hardware, my team worked very closely with the
device driver team that implemented the ncp driver to ensure that the crypto framework was meeting all the needs of the UltraSPARC T1 hardware.

The source for how this works is unfortunately not available in OpenSolaris. The reason for this is that it gives way the information on how to program the crypto functionality on the chip, we aren't hiding this because we want to keep it secret, we would love to make it open source, but because releasing it would change the US export status of the actual hardware. Until we can find away around this the ncp driver is binary only, unfortunately without the ncp driver there is no way to trap through the sun4v hypervisor to get access to the fast crypto.

So for now ncp is in the closed-bins part of OpenSolaris, if things change you can be sure we will move it to the open part of the tree and release the source for how to do this so that other distros can rebuild the ncp driver if the desire.

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