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White Paper

Data integrity through TLP encryption in PCI Express

Securing packet transfers against digital attacks

There is an increase in the push for higher speed data transfers along with higher security of the data transferred. The need for protecting the confidentiality of data is increasing day by day. The need to process higher bandwidths of data is enabled by the higher speed of PCIe and the integrity of data is maintained by encrypting it with the introduction of integrity and data encryption (IDE) features in PCIe. IDE provides an efficient method and “best-practices industry-standard cryptographic” algorithms to protect data.

This paper discusses the flow used in the encryption of IDE TLPs in PCI Express and the underlying software stack. It explains how IDE provides security against digital attacks for TLPs sent from the transmitter to the receiver for various use models, including the transfer of data to devices connected link-to-link or devices connected through switches. It also describes the verification support that the next generation of PCIe Questa Verification IP (QVIP) provides to verify the IDE feature using a built-in sequence library, APIs, and assertions.