NVIDIA DOCA Crypto Acceleration

DOCA SDK 2.6.0

NVIDIA® BlueField® DPU incorporates several Public Key Acceleration (PKA) engines to offload the processor of the Arm host, providing high-performance computation of PK algorithms. BlueField's PKA is useful for a wide range of security applications. It can assist with SSL acceleration, or a secure high-performance PK signature generator/checker and certificate related operations.

BlueField's PKA software libraries implement a simple, complete framework for crypto public key infrastructure (PKI) acceleration. It provides direct access to hardware resources from the user space, and makes available a number of arithmetic operations—some basic (e.g., addition and multiplication), and some complex (e.g., modular exponentiation and modular inversion)—and high-level operations such as RSA, Diffie-Hallman, Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and the Federal Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA as documented in FIPS-186) public-private key systems.

Some of the use cases for the BlueField PKA involve integrating OpenSSL software applications with BlueField's PKA hardware. The BlueField PKA dynamic engine for OpenSSL allows applications integrated with OpenSSL (e.g., StrongSwan) to accomplish a variety of security-related goals and to accelerate the cryptographic processing with the BlueField PKA hardware. OpenSSL versions ≥1.0.0, ≤1.1.1, and 3.0.2 are supported.


With CentOS 7.6, only OpenSSL 1.1 (not 1.0) works with PKA engine and keygen. Use openssl11 with PKA engine and keygen.

The engine supports the following operations:

  • RSA

  • DH

  • DSA


  • ECDH

  • Random number generation that is cryptographically secure.

Up to 4096-bit keys for RSA, DH, and DSA operations are supported. Elliptic Curve Cryptography support of (nist) prime curves for 160, 192, 224, 256, 384 and 521 bits.

For example:

To sign a file using BlueField's PKA engine:


$ openssl dgst -engine pka -sha256 -sign <privatekey> -out <signature> <filename>

To verify the signature, execute:


$ openssl dgst -engine pka -sha256 -verify <publickey> -signature <signature> <filename>

For further details on BlueField PKA, please refer to "PKA Driver Design and Implementation Architecture Document" and/or "PKA Programming Guide". Directions and instructions on how to integrate the BlueField PKA software libraries are provided in the README files on our PKA GitHub.

© Copyright 2024, NVIDIA. Last updated on May 7, 2024.