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Method for bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012025D
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 201K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use. Benefits include improved functionality, improved intellectual property value, and improved support for digital rights management.

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Method for bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use

Disclosed is a method for bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use. Benefits include improved functionality, improved intellectual property value, and improved support for digital rights management.

Background

        � � � � � When a memory controller and an I/O device that is connected to a network are conventionally connected to a bus, raw unencrypted data is transmitted between the memory controller and the I/O device. Any other agent could detect the data stream and snoop the results.

General description

        � � � � � The disclosed method is bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use. Encryption is incorporated into data transfers on a bus connection. This task can be difficult because the bus connection may require multiple separate transactions to complete all data transfers required between the two bus agents. The disclosed method enables hardware to encrypt the data stream between two agents. The circuitry is capable of handling multiple active encryption streams simultaneously.

        � � � � � The disclosed method can be used transparently on processor buses or I/O connections. The method does not require licensing because the function impacts only the data transfer and not the interconnect protocol. The method augments efforts in digital rights management.

Advantages

        � � � � � The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•        � � � � Improved functionality due to providing an encryption capability

•        � � � � Improved intellectual property value due to not requiring licensing because the function impacts only the data transfer and not the interconnect protocol

•        � � � � Improved support for digital rights management

Detailed description

        � � � � � The disclosed method is bus encryption on a physical link for multi-agent use. For example, a memory controller, which handles all accesses to the memory of the system, is connected to a bus (see Figure 1). An I/O device that is connected to a network is also connected to the bus. This

scenario is simplified for illustrative purposes. The I/O device could be connected to the bus connection with bridges, and the method would work. The disclosed method applies to both sending and receiving agents on the bus connection.

        � � � � � The disclosed method adds circuitry to the interfaces of each of the devices connecting to the bus connection, such as the memory controller and the I/O device. The sending and receiving agents both require additional circuitry.

        � � � � � Operation of the sending bus agent using the disclosed method occurs as the following steps (see Figure 2):

1.        � � Prior to the transfer of data, the two bus agents determine the index. This task can be complex, but it is always a mapping function of the address used for the transfer. This index is used to clear the corresponding location in the partial results register file to initialize the transfer. The clearing can be performed by the driver c...