hardware crypto

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Sat Sep 17 14:37:15 EDT 2011

> > Is it worth looking at enabling the HW crypto devices for the various
> > platforms? I have a Fit-PC that I use as a FW with a geode and the HW
> > crypto is pretty good on that, the Via chip has one on the 1.5 and
> > there's also some form of HW on the 1.75 too. last time I looked we
> > weren't enabling them,
> We disabled it for XO-1.5 early in the development cycle because it
> caused kernel crashes. Could be reevaluated now, if someone tests it
> and tells us that it works then we could enable it again.

Last time I looked at the hardware crypto in XO-1 Geode, it was
designed by people who didn't consider any of the system or software
aspects.  Using the crypto hardware was actually slower than doing it
all in software, for 99% of use cases.  The one useful thing they
might have provided, that we couldn't do well in software already, was
a random number generator -- but they didn't.

The Via chip spec for XO-1.5 is still not available, despite OLPC's
suggestion that they wouldn't ship a processor without an open manual.

I haven't looked at the ARM chip in the XO-1.75. Is the spec even
available?  The Hardware Specification 1.75 page doesn't exist in the
wiki yet.


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