Athena Announces Fastest Elliptic Curve Cryptography Accelerator Core

Delivers over 8,000 NIST EC-DSA Verify Operations per Second

Gainesville, FL- April 21, 2014 - The Athena Group, Inc., the leader in high-performance public key (PK) and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), today announced the industry’s fastest ECC accelerator core. Athena’s commitment to maintaining leadership in the high-performance PK cryptography and ECC marketplace is reinforced with the release of the EC Ultra family of dedicated ECC accelerators. Athena introduced three variants ranging in performance from 2,000 to 8,000 NIST P-256 EC-DSA verify operations per second.

The EC Ultra employs a breakthrough cryptographic architecture to deliver extraordinarily low latency operation and blazing throughput across the entire spectrum of ECC operations. Each EC Ultra can be configured with support for a variety of curves, including NIST P-224, P-256, P-384, and Brainpool curves. In many applications, a single EC Ultra core instance can meet all of the ECC processing requirements, simplifying the management of ECC processing queues. EC Ultra also provides fire-and-forget operation for EC-DSA sign, verify, and point multiplication, with near zero host processing overhead.

The introduction of the EC Ultra 8000 establishes the new performance standard for EC-DSA verification at less than 125 microseconds (NIST P-256) – over 8,000 operations per second – from a single core. The EC Ultra 2000 and 4000 leverage the same ECC acceleration technology in area-minimized solutions that are ideal for multiple emerging markets. These cores deliver 2,000 and 4,000 EC-DSA verify (NIST P-256) operations per second, respectively, in compact footprints starting at less than 100K gates.

“Athena recognized the need to offer a dedicated, high-performance ECC accelerator to answer emerging demand,” said Stuart Audley, Director of Engineering at Athena. “The EC Ultra architecture represents a new approach to high-performance ECC acceleration. An increasing number of applications, such as vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure (V2V/V2X), not only specify ECC but also have relatively high performance requirements and do not employ traditional PK cryptography such as RSA. In these markets, the EC Ultra family is ideal. Even at low operating frequencies, a single EC Ultra core can deliver higher performance with lower area than anything on the market today.”

The EC Ultra complements Athena’s TeraFire family of cryptography microprocessors, the world’s only fully programmable combined PK and ECC cryptography cores. EC Ultra is offered with software drivers for easy integration and embeds sophisticated algorithmic processing to autonomously complete EC-DSA sign and verify operations without microprocessor intervention.

Athena´s TeraFire® Security Accelerator Cores
With a complete family of security IP cores and software and multiple levels of performance for every function, Athena supports your product succession strategy. TeraFire cores have been delivered in technologies ranging from FPGAs to ASICs, ready for integration into your product. Whether your next application is a low speed data terminal or a high performance network security appliance, Athena is ready to help you analyze your security hardware requirements and customize a package of functions for your specific application.

About The Athena Group, Inc.
For over 25 years, Athena´s leading-edge security and signal processing intellectual property (IP) cores have set the standard in overall performance, efficiency, and silicon area. Today, Athena offers a broad portfolio of solutions, from ciphers to security microprocessors, and from transforms to high performance FFT arrays. When your project needs world-class FPGA or ASIC technology, talk to Athena.

Athena was founded in 1986 and is privately held.
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Press Contact
Pat Rugg, VP Sales and Marketing
The Athena Group, Inc.
408 W. University Avenue, Suite 306
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: (352) 371-2567 ext. 307
Toll-free: (800) 741-7440