Creating a New AFU

This chapter will walk you through the complete process of creating an FPGA-based implementation of encrypting and decrypting with the blowfish cipher).

We chose it, because it is easy to implement and quite fast when encrypting or decrypting. Only the key-preprocessing when changing the key is expensive. Note that this implementation is not intended for real life use with confidential information but rather a demonstration for SNAP. To effectively use the parallelization capabilities of the FPGA, we chose Electronic Codebook as blockmode, because each block can be en- and decrypted individually. In a real-world scenario, we would recommend CTR.

As the key pre-processing is quite expensive, we want to be able to handle large data streams with one pre-processing pass. Therefore we decided to include three operations in our action:

  1. Set the key
  2. Encrypt data with the current key
  3. Decrypt data with the current key

Each call to our action will specify one of these operations.

When the action is called, the SNAP library automatically writes the job struct residing in host memory to the AFU's IO Register space (MMIO). This space is implemented by a SNAP hardware component and available to the user design via the action_reg * parameter. How the AFU uses this parameter to access the job struct will be explained in the Hardware Development section.

We create an empty repository outside of the SNAP folder structure and call it hls_blowfish. To use the existing build structures, we create the subdirectories into hw, sw and include. While files exclusively needed for the hardware or software definition are placed in their respective directory, the include directory contains the header files important for both.

In hls_blowfish/include/action_blowfish.h we specify the our action. By copying snap/actions/hls_bfs/include/action_bfs.h and deleting and renaming action-specific parts, we get the following frame:


#include <snap_types.h>

#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" {


typedef struct blowfish_job {
    // TODO
} blowfish_job_t;

#ifdef __cplusplus
#endif    /* __ACTION_BLOWFISH_H__ */

Frame for the header file defining the job structure.

In accordance with SNAP's action type guidelines, we choose an action type number from the 'free for experimental use' range:

#define BLOWFISH_ACTION_TYPE 0x00000108

For the job struct, we want to specify the operation, the address of the input data and its length and where to write output data. We do not need a field where the length of the output data can be written, as it is defined by operation and input length.

#define MODE_SET_KEY 0
#define MODE_ENCRYPT 1
#define MODE_DECRYPT 2

typedef struct blowfish_job {
    struct snap_addr input_data;
    struct snap_addr output_data; // not needed for MODE_SET_KEY
    uint32_t mode;
    uint32_t data_length;
} blowfish_job_t;

Different operation modes we defined and specific job structure.

The resulting action_blowfish.h can be found here.

results matching ""

    No results matching ""