OpenBSD Journal

AES performance on VIA C3

Contributed by jose on from the fast dept.

jtorin writes: "

Theo de Raadt writes:

Got a couple figures on AES performance... the cool one at the bottom.

type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
aes-128-cbc      15985.10k    16924.93k    17238.12k    17319.74k    17339.74k
  1.6GHz amd64 in 32bit mode

aes-128-cbc      13323.36k    14403.55k    13225.65k    14529.80k    14654.16k

aes-128-cbc      13090.59k    51065.12k   174593.45k   426600.92k   735548.02k
  VIA C3 with the xcrypt-* instructions.  This is using a new diff
  I have written which makes OpenSSL directly use the cpu instructions
  if they are available, right in userland, without having to call to

Two things are apparent.  First, this CPU feature is really cool.
Second, the OpenSSL glue above crypto operation has pathetically high

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    For those of us who have not been following
    hardware release and ask
    what it 'AES' VIA C3

    "A New Generation Processor
    Introducing the new generation VIA C3 ™ processor integrating the "New Nehemiah" core. With its powerful PadLock™ Security Suite, the new VIA C3 is the first native x86 processor on the market with embedded security features that enhance the protection of sensitive corporate and personal data. The processor is based on an advanced new CoolStream™ architecture that delivers all the necessary performance for running even the most demanding digital media applications while maintaining ultra low levels of power consumption and effective heat dissipation - making it the ideal solution for powering a new wave of innovation in secure, quiet running, small form factor PCs and digital entertainment devices."

    World's Most Advanced Native x86 Processor Hardware Security Features

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      What case are people using with these boards? Casetronic ?

  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    The speed of the C3 is not mentioned. How many Ghz? How can we compare without this figure?

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      C3 is at most 1Ghz w/ active cooling, 600Mhz w/ passive, if I remember correctly.

      btw what was the model used for the tests, anyone?

      1. By Simon () on

        Damn... mine is 1GHz w/ passive

        1. By Anonymous Coward () on

          Maybe he meant VIA EPIA boards, there only Eden is fanless.

      2. By Daniel () on

        Actually, to go a bit more into detail:
        The EPIA boards have the CPU soldered onto the board:
        The CPU there comes in 600MHz and 1GHz versions.
        1GHz has fan, 600MHz not. 1GHz can be run fanless, but you have to change the heatsink (thereby loose your warranty), as e.g. described in:
        (Unfortunately in German, but the pictures show the idea).
        There's also a FCPGA version, which runs at 1.2 GHz, and fits on a lot of standard Pentium III boards.
        However, I am not sure, if all of them run the new core with the crypto instructions available.
        By the way, is the ability to execute these instructions somehow shown in the cpu0 dmesg?

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      The speed of the processor is inconsequential - what Theo is remarking about is the special on-chip routines that are made for processing crypto. The chip in the test was 1GHz or under.

  3. By abe () on

    sounds like a tempting processor to use for the typical firewall/router that we all have on our internal networks in terms of crypto and noise

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      They are great little systems. If you install OpenBSD on the compactflash (search for OpenBSD on Soekris), you have a powerful silent machine that's not prone to mechanical failure... what a combo!

      1. By Peter Fackrell () on

        VIA EPIA MII Mainboard maybe this also the go for
        An array of modern storage and connectivity options are supported, including onboard CardBus, CompactFlash, and a PCI slot.

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Any Nehemiah? A special version/stepping of the Nehemiah?

    1. By andy () on

      it is jungle there are so much variation,
      does eden processor have padlock ?
      what C3 to choose or motherboard ?
      and here?
      an epia 800 is good ?

      1. By andy () on

        >does eden processor have padlock ?

        i prefer saying: what C3 to choose or motherboard to have AES ?

    2. By Doug () on

      Nehemiah Stepping 8 and higher has the Advanced Cryptography Engine:

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Any clues on how to make sure we're buying the right stepping?

        1. By Daniel () on

          states steppings 0..7 are C5XL core, and
          8..F is C5P.
          C5P has been presented at the Microprocessor Forum mid october last year, is available in speeds of 1.2 to 1.4GHz (Googling for 'VIA C5P Nehemiah' will give you lots of hits on this issue) and is expected to ship in larger volumes early this year. So I suppose, none of the currently available EPIA boards have this feature.

  5. By Daniel Tams () on

    Do standard ssh connections become faster because of this?

    1. By clvrmnky () on

      I imagine ssh connections will be more efficient if the crypto used (i.e., negotiated by the SSH connection) is AES-128 CBC. That is, this diff does not mention (say) Blowfish.

      Of course, Blowfish was designed with software implementations in mind, and may not benefit as much from running in hardware.

  6. By Marty Jansen () on

    I have no interest in this company.

    Syntax - S635MP
    Integrated VIA C3 1.3Giga Pro Processor

    $5.00 after rebate at Tigerdirect

    Cheap firewalls for all....

    1. By Jason () on

      I bought two of these board/CPU combo's, and I'm curious (as I have not received or installed them yet) what clock speed do they operate? 1.3Giga Pro Processor, to me, says 1.3ghz clock speed CPU. However, from what I'm getting from and various other special interest sites, the max these integrated CPU's run at currently is 1.0ghz (which is fine, I'm just curious).

      Anyone know? Feel free to email me, or just post here...

    2. By Jason () on

      After installing an OS and running benchmarking, this board runs at 600mhz native (but can be OC'ed to 800mhz easily through software).

      I paid $5 after rebate as listed above...

      I'm happy.

      CPU caches? 3x 64k cache's at different levels (ouch).


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