Achronix and Signali: High-performance 128-bit AES cores for Speedster FGPAs

Achronix Semiconductor, maker of the world’s fastest FPGAs, today announced (.pdf) the availability of new, high-performance AES IP cores for its SpeedsterTM 1.5 GHz family FPGAs.These high-performance 128-bit key size AES core are targeted at 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, and 100 Gbps applications have been designed and built by Signali, a Galois spinoff focusing on custom cores targetting computationally intensive algorithms, fixed-function DSP and cryptographic applications. Signali uses their Quattro™ compiler suite to transform high-level descriptions of data-intensive functions, such as AES into high-performance RTL.Read the full story.

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FMCAD and AFM Submissions Open

I am on the program committees for two upcoming formal methods conferences: Formal Methods in Computer-Aided Design (FMCAD), the preeminent conference on formal methods in hardware and systems, and Automated Formal Methods (AFM), a workshop on the application, usage, and extension of formal methods tools, particularly focusing on SRI’s tool suite (including a theorem prover, model-checkers, and SMT solver).Please consider submitting papers!  The deadline for FMCAD is May 22 (with abstracts due May 15); the deadline for AFM is April 30.  FMCAD will occur in Austin, Texas November 15-18, and AFM will be colocated with CAV in Grenoble, France.

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One Million Haskell Downloads…

Galois engineers write a lot of Haskell (in fact, our technology catalogue is built pretty much entirely on it). We find we’re able to build systems faster, with fewer errors, and in turn are able to apply techniques to increase assurance, helping us deliver value to our clients. We’ve successfully engineered large systems in the language for nearly a decade. We also use and write a lot of open source Haskell code. Since 2004 we’ve been investing in improving packaging and distribution infrastructure for Haskell code, and since 2007 Galois has been hosting the central online database of open source Haskell libraries and applications. These packages are built via Cabal (dreamed up by Galois’ own Isaac Potoczny-Jones), and distributed via cabal-install. Hackage now hosts more than 1100 released libraries and tools, and has been growing rapidly (and, incidentally, Galois employees have released or been significant contributors to just shy of 10% of all Hackage projects).We’ve wondered for a while now just how busy Hackage was becoming, and in turn, what other interesting information about Haskell were buried in the Hackage logs. This post answers those questions for the first time. We’ll see

  • Total, and growing, Haskell source downloads
  • The most popular Haskell projects hosted on Hackage
  • The most popular development categories
  • The most popular methods for distributing Haskell source

and speculate a little on where Hackage is heading.


We’ve known for a while that uploads to Hackage were growing. You might have seen this graph elsewhere (it’s derivable from the RSS logs of package uploads):

There’s a pretty clear trend upwards. Average daily Hackage releases have increased 4-fold since Hackage was launched, and it’s now averaging 10 packages a day released. The question is: was anyone using this code?

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Call for Proposals: CUFP 2009

Commercial Users of Functional Programming Workshop 2009:Functional Programming as a Means, Not an EndSponsored by SIGPLANCo-located with ICFP 2009Edinburgh, Scotland, 4 September 2009Galois is excited to promote this sixth annual event and encourages any interested in speaking at the workshop to send in a presentation proposal!  Whether you’d like to offer a talk yourself or you’d have someone in mind you’d like to nominate, please submit a proposal by 15 May 2009 via e-mail to francesco(at)erlang-consulting(dot)com or jim(dot)d(dot)grundy(at)intel(dot)com. Include a short description (approx. one page) of what you’d like to talk about or what you think your nominee should give a talk about.Do I have a presentation idea?If you use functional programming as a means rather than as an end (or could nominate someone who does), we invite you to offer to give a talk at the workshop. Talks are typically 25 minutes long but can be shorter and aim to inform participants about how functional programming plays out in real-world applications. Your talk does not need to be highly technical, and you do not need to submit a paper!What is the goal?The goal of the CUFP workshop is to act as a voice for users of functional programming and to support the increasing viability of functional programming in the commercial, governmental, and open-source space. The workshop is also designed to enable the formation and reinforcement of relationships that further the commercial use of functional programming.Tell me more!CUFP 2009 will last a full day and feature a keynote presentation from Bryan O’Sullivan, co-author of Real World Haskell. The program will also include a mix of presentations and discussion sessions varying over a wide range of topics.This will be the sixth CUFP;  for more information, including reports from attendees of previous events and video of recent talks, see the workshop web site:

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Galois at POPL

The Principles of Programming Languages conference, POPL 09, and its surrounding workshops is kicking off this week in Savannah, Georgia. Galwegians will be attending most of the conferences: you might be able to find Levent at VMCAI or the Twelf Tutorial, or Iavor at TLDI or POPL, and Jeff Lewis (now at Signali) will be giving a keynote at PADL. Step up and say “hello!”.

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Signali: A Custom IP-Design Company

Signali Corp is the latest technology commercialization spinout from Galois, chartered with commercialization of hardware IP core design technology aimed at the FPGA and ASIC markets.  Engineers at Galois and Signali have used the proprietary technology to deliver to government prime contractors the highest performing FPGA implementations in the world for a set of common cryptographic algorithms.With this technology, Signali is well-placed to make a significant impact on the IP core market with their ability to re-tune their cores to meet the customer’s design constraints, whether speed, or power, or area. The technology is especially well suited for optimizing hardware designs of computationally complex functions such as those common in digital signal processing and cryptographic systems.Galois enlisted the experience of Brian Moore, a seasoned design engineer and lab director from Intel, to lead Signali. Moore brings over 25 years of experience in the semiconductor and energy research industries. Galois co-founder Jeff Lewis, is leading the technology development as Chief Technology Officer. Signali is currently co-located with Galois in the historic Commonwealth Building in downtown Portland, Oregon. The company is engaged with Achronix Semiconductor to develop a portfolio of very high performance IP cores for their next-generation FPGAs. Sample performance and utilization numbers for IP cores running on the Achronix Speedster FPGA can be found on the Signali website.

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Cryptol, the language of cryptography, now available

Galois is pleased to announce that Cryptol, the language of cryptography, is now available to the public!Cryptol is a domain specific language for the design, implementation and verification of cryptographic algorithms, developed over the past decade by Galois for the United States National Security Agency. It has been used successfully in a number of projects, and is also in use at Rockwell Collins, Inc.

Domain-specific languages (DSLs) allow subject-matter experts to design solutions in using familiar concepts and constructs. Cryptol, as a DSL, allows domain experts in cryptography to design and implement cryptographic algorithms with a high degree of assurance in the correctness of their design, and at the same time, producing a high performance implementation of their algorithms.Cryptol allows a cryptographer to:

  • Create a reference specification and associated formal model.
  • Test the specification against published test vectors and formal assertions about state.
  • Quickly refine the specification, in Cryptol, to one or more implementations, trading off space, time, and other performance metrics.
  • Compile the implementation for multiple targets, including: C/C++, Haskell, and VHDL/Verilog.
  • Equivalence check an implementation against the reference specification, including implementations not produced by Cryptol.

The Cryptol site has further documentation and the full language specification. In this release, Galois has made a implementation of the Cryptol language available free of charge for non-commercial uses.

The trial version is available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows installations and can be downloaded at the Cryptol site. The trial version is meant for language exploration. It includes a Cryptol interpreter with QuickCheck capabilities, documentation, and examples. The open version does not compile to VHDL, C/C++, or Haskell, and does not produce the formal models used for equivalence checking.Cryptol is implemented in Haskell.

Contact Galois to obtain a full-featured version for evaluation.

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Galois awarded NASA research contract

NASA has awarded Galois, Inc. together with the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), a research contract to investigate monitor synthesis for software health management (here is NASA’s press release). The research team includes myself, Lee Pike as the Principal Investigator,  Cesar Munoz as the Co-PI (NIA), and Alwyn Goodloe as a Research Scientist (NIA). The award runs through the end of 2011, and we are investigating the formal synthesis of online monitors from requirements specifications. The research will focus on safety properties and real-time properties of distributed systems. Here are some slides I gave as part of an invited panel kicking off the project, and here’s the press release from Reuters. If you’re interested in finding out more about the research or are interested in collaborating, don’t hesitate to contact me, or leave a comment!

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