High Performance AES - Advanced Encryption Standard

Block Diagram

Solution Type: IP Core

End Market: Automotive, Broadcast, Computer & Storage, Consumer, Industrial, Medical, Military, Test & Measurement, Wireless, Wireline

Evaluation Method: Source Code

Technology: Processors and Peripherals: Embedded Processors

Arria Series: Intel® Arria® 10, Arria® V, Intel® Arria® 10 SoC, Arria® V SoC

Cyclone Series: Cyclone® IV, Cyclone® V, Cyclone® V SoC

MAX Series: Intel® MAX® 10, MAX® V

Stratix Series: Stratix® IV, Stratix® V


Athena delivers the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) ciphers as semiconductor intellectual property (IP) cores. Athena’s AES cores complement the market-leading TeraFire® cryptography microprocessors and standalone TeraFire cryptography accelerators. Whether your application demands high AES performance or the power savings of a dedicated core, Athena’s AES cores deliver both performance and power savings.


  • DPA Countermeasures
  • All modes/key sizes supported
  • NIST Certifiable
  • Three dedicated product series support different performance and area requirements

Device Utilization and Performance

~3 Gbps, ~650 ALUTs

Getting Started

Dedicated AES core solutions are constructed using a modular architecture, comprising cipher cores, key schedule generators, and modes modules, allowing Athena to configure an AES solution optimized for the functional, performance, area, and power requirements of your application. Athena supports all AES modes, including ECB, CBC, CFB, OFB, CTR, CMAC, CCM, GCM, and GHASH, and even XTS mode (SP800-38E). Any modes and/or key sizes not required can be omitted to reduce area.

IP Quality Metrics

Year IP was first released2008
Latest version of Quartus supported15.1
Altera Customer Use
IP has been successfully implemented in production with at least one customerY

Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim Altera edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Testbench or design example
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file
Any additional customer deliverables provided with IP
By Request
Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IPN
IP core is enabled for OpenCore Plus SupportN
Source language
Verilog; VHDL
Testbench languageVerilog; VHDL
Software drivers providedY
Driver OS supportLinix, OpenSSL
User InterfaceAXI; Other: AHB
IP-XACT Metadata includedN
Simulators supportedall
Hardware validated Y. Altera Board Name Cyclone V, Stratix V
Industry standard compliance testing performed
If No, is it planned?Y
IP has undergone interoperability testing
Interoperability reports available  N

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