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FPGA Clusters break speed records for decryption at 280Billion keys/sec

By robo_dev ·
In the never-ending cat-and-mouse game between encryption technology and faster computers which break the encryption, there is a very big and mean new cat on the block.

Meet the Pico SG5 FPGA Cluster

A Pico SG5 FPGA cluster, a 4U server using 1400 watts of power, is capable of processing more than 280 billion DES operations per second or 4 billion WEP keys per second.

This means that a 56 bit DES key recovery that would take years to perform on a PC, even with GPU acceleration, could be accomplished in less than three days....on only one of these boxes.

At only 4U tall, a standard computer rack could hold 13 of these devices, and a small data center could hold quite a few racks. So 280 billion-per-second, times 13 gives you something like 4 Trillion attempts per second in a single server rack.

Consider that a Pico SG5 delivers the equivalent of more than a TeraFlop of processing power for less than $10K in a PC-sized box, while the latest Cray SuperComputers deliver 150 TeraFlops of processing power in a set of devices that costs millions and requires a dedicated data center and staff.

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