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MACsec IP Core

IEEE 802.1AE IP Core

The Xiphera MACsec family provides high-speed IP cores implementing the MACsec (Media Access Control security) protocol as standardized in IEEE Std 802.1AE-2018. The MACsec protocol defines a security infrastrucure for Layer 2 (as per the OSI model) traffic by assuring that a received frame has been sent by a transmitting station that claimed to send it. The traffic between stations is also encrypted to provide data confidentiality and authenticated to provide data integrity.

Typical MACsec applications require high data bandwidths such as 10G, 25G, 40G, or 100G and often benefit greatly from FPGA-based acceleration. The Xiphera MACsec IP runs on BittWare’s IA-840f and IA-420f Agilex FPGA-based PCIe cards.

Complies with IEEE std 802.1AE-2018

127.21 Gb/s in Altera Agilex F-series

Compliant with MACsec protocol


Moderate resource requirements:

  • The Xiphera MACsec IP does not require any multipliers or DSP Blocks in a typical FPGA implementation


  • The Xiphera MACsec IP (XIP1213E) achieves a throughput in the 100 Gbps range, for example up to 127.21 Gbps in Intel Agilex F

Standard Compliance:

  • The Xiphera MACsec IP is compliant with the MACsec protocol as standardized in IEEE Std 802.1AE-2018
  • The cipher suite is fully compliant with the Advanced Encryption Algorithm (AES) standard, as well as with the Galois Counter Mode (GCM) standard

Test Vector Compliance: 

  • The Xiphera MACsec IP passes the test vectors specified in Annex C of IEEE Std 802.1AE-2018

OSI Network Model

OSI model diagram

Data Sheet and Product Details


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The Xiphera MACsec IP uses Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key in Galois Counter Mode (AES-GCM) to protect data confidentiality, data integrity and data origin authentication. XIP1213H is best suited for data traffic on 25 Gbps links, and XIP1213E is suited for traffic on 100 Gbps links.

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Use Cases

The original use case for MACsec is protecting communications in wired local area networks. MACsec can also be used for the following:

To protect critical control messages in communications networks

To protect sensitive measurement data in industrial automation applications

To secure point-to-point video links

Xiphera MACSec use case diagram


Encrypted source code, a comprehensive VHDL testbench and a detailed datasheet are included. The MACsec IP is available in four variants:

RS-XI-1213B MACsec AES256-GCM
RS-XI-1213H MACsec AES256-GCM, high-speed
RS-XI-1213E MACsec AES256-GCM extreme-speed

Compatible FPGA Cards

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About the Company

Hardware-based security solutions using standardized cryptographic algorithms.

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