NITROX Processor Unveiled with High Performance Security & Compression for Cloud Computing

Single Chip NITROX III(TM) Family With 16 to 64-Cores Delivers Unmatched Performance With up to 200K SSL Ops/s, 40Gbps Security and 20 Gbps Compression Along With Virtualization While Slashing Power Consumption

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Cavium Networks, a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, and the digital home, today unveiled a new family of security processors which deliver unprecedented performance for secure and virtualized cloud computing and the borderless enterprise. The NITROX III security processor family integrates 16 to 64 purpose-built security RISC cores with high performance compression engines and virtualization hardware with a PCI-Express Gen 2 interface. This level of performance is up to 10 times greater than alternative multi-chip solutions within the same power envelope. This enables OEM customers to achieve extremely high levels of rich, secure services, all with very low power consumption. The NITROX product line is the industry leading security processor line designed into enterprise, data center and service provider equipment including UTM Gateways, Application Delivery Controllers, WAN Optimization Appliances, routers, switches and servers.

Rapid adoption of data center and cloud computing initiatives coupled with NIST (National institute of standards and technology) guidelines per SP 800-57 on doubling key size from 1024 bit to 2048 bit for Secure Socket Layer (SSL), drives an unprecedented level of security performance requirements for Data Center and Borderless Enterprise equipment. Security performance and demand is also driven by internet search companies as they add SSL security to their mail and search infrastructure. Additionally, vendors are rapidly adding features to support virtualization in their data-center networking and blade-server systems. In conjunction, high performance traffic compression is becoming a critical feature for data centers where vendors need to send an exploding volume of traffic on limited capacity wires. Finally, energy usage has become a dominant factor driving data-center and enterprise cost and capacity, requiring next generation networking solutions to fit in the smallest and most energy efficient footprint. These critical requirements in today’s networks require highly advanced technology with a tremendous amount of application specific acceleration at very high line rates.

The NITROX III Security Processor family delivers unmatched SSL and security performance, virtualization features, compression performance and very low power consumption, enabling Cavium’s OEM customers to deliver breakthrough next generation solutions which address these critical requirements, in an optimized, energy efficient manner. The single-chip NITROX III processors do not require external memory enabling lower cost, power and real-estate. Additionally, the NITROX III processors are supported by Cavium’s NITROX software development kit (SDK) and are software compatible with the current generation NITROX PX parts that are widely deployed at several Tier 1 networking and security vendors.

Supporting Quotes “High performance SSL with support for 2048 bit keys, virtualization, and traffic compression are key requirements in the data center market,” said Bob Wheeler, Senior Analyst at The Linley Group . “Cavium’s NITROX III processor family effectively addresses these requirements, enabling OEMs developing data center and cloud computing systems to benefit from the significantly increased security and compression performance, virtualization features, and power efficiency of these security processors.”

“The NITROX III product line has received tremendous positive response and commitment from several Tier-1 customers in data-center, service-provider and WAN optimization areas,” said Rajiv Khemani, VP & GM of the Networking & Communications Division, Cavium Networks. “With the unabated increase in security performance requirements, along with the increased need for WAN optimization and cloud virtualization, we are confident that the NITROX III processor will deliver a significant boost to the security processor market.”

NITROX III Family Highlights

  • Up to 64 Security Cores — Support up to 40Gbps of security performance. Also support 200K RSA Ops/sec for 1024 bit keys and 35K RSA Ops/sec for 2048 bit keys. Hardware footprint & software compatible SKUs are available for 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps. This level of processing is up to 10x of that available in the marketplace today.
  • Up to 4 Compression Engines — Enhanced Compression/decompression acceleration — 5 to 20Gbps. Support for GZIP, PKZIP, Inflate and Deflate algorithms. Also includes support for LZS Compression that is widely used for Storage applications.
  • High bandwidth IO — PCI-Express Gen2 x16 supports up to 40 Gbps of security and 20 Gbps of Compression performance. Supports x4 and x8 lane configurations as well.
  • Virtualization support — Single Root IO Virtualization feature on PCI-Express Gen 2 interface. Includes support for 8, 16, 32 or 64 virtual functions to meet the requirements of different system with a varying number of CPU cores or Virtual machines.
  • Latest security features — Includes a Random Number Generator that is compliant to the new FIPS 140-3 NIST standard that is required for next generation security applications. Has support for a wide variety of protocols including IPsec, SSL TLS 1.2, DTLS and ECC Suite B. Also supports a wide variety of algorithms including several variants of AES, 3DES, ARC4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2, RSA 2048, RSA 4096, Kasumi, EC-DH and EC-DSA.
  • Low power dissipation — 10W to 20W options enables vendors to meet stringent power requirements for data center equipment.


The NITROX III Software Development Kit (SDK) includes x86 driver for Linux, feature rich APIs for a variety of protocols, firmware and reference stacks for IPSec and SSL. The APIs, firmware and protocol stacks are compatible with the current NITROX PX SDK.


The NITROX III processor family is expected to sample in Q2 2011 with design collateral for early customers available in Q4 2010. It will be offered in 5 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 20 Gbps and 40Gbps options. SSL SKU options include 50K SSL Ops/sec, 100K SSL Ops/sec and 200K SSL Ops/sec. Some members of the NITROX III processor family are offered with compression acceleration hardware. Compression performance options include 5 Gbps, 10Gbps and 20 Gbps. Please contact your Cavium sales representative for additional details.

About Cavium Networks
Cavium Networks is a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, and the digital home.