The Design of the OpenBSD Cryptographic Framework

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Executive Summary

Cryptographic transformations are a fundamental building block in many security applications and protocols. To improve performance, several vendors market hardware accelerator cards. However, until now no operating system provided a mechanism that allowed both uniform and efficient use of this new type of resource. The authors present the OpenBSD Cryptographic Framework (OCF), a service virtualization layer implemented inside the kernel, that provides uniform access to accelerator functionality by hiding card-specific details behind a carefully-designed API.

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