Intel Brings QuickAssist Support To Linux: Crypto & Compression
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 3 June 2014 at 04:36 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Intel has published a new Linux kernel patch-set that adds Quick Assist Technology support to Linux along with a driver to handle their DH895xxC hardware accelerator. This is a new chip for trying to accelerate cryptography and data compression tasks.

Quick Assist Technology is a new Intel technology for better accelerating cryptography and data compression operations. The Linux implementation consists of a kernel driver to connect to the Linux kernel crypto framework and a Linux user-space library with a QuickAssist API for application porting. Intel Linux developers have already patched OpenSSL's libcrypto and Zlib for taking advantage of this Intel technology.

Of course, these patches won't excite everyone in light of recent security concerns and trusting large US corporations with cryptography tasks... Intel's Linux patches are open-source but their acceleration engines require binary-only firmware blobs to function.


Unfortunately I don't have much more information on this Intel DH895xxC chip at this time. Among the algorithms that Intel's "QAT driver" can accelerate are SHA1, AES, and SHA256.

The Intel QAT driver patch-set for the Linux kernel can be found on the kernel mailing list while more information on Linux support for QuickAssist can be found at Intel's 01.org.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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