[rescue] sun des chips
psand at mac.com
Fri Oct 22 14:25:28 CDT 2004
Try "man des" and "man 4 des" on a SunOS 4 machine - software support
for an AmZ8068 Data Ciphering Processor (DCP), made by AMD, is
certainly there. This device was only supported on Sun-3, Sun-3x and
Sun-4 systems (the original sun4 architecture).
There is a related and quite entertaining bug report in SunSolve:
"Bug Id: 1107024
Synopsis: man page for des(1) contains humorous but inflamatory
text in RESTRICTIONS.
Description: The man page for des(1) contains the following text
in section RESTRICTIONS
Software encryption is disabled for programs shipped outside
of the U.S. The program will still be able to encrypt files
if one can obtain an encryption chip, legally or otherwise.
While this is intended to be funny, the concern is that the State or
Defence departments may interpret this as an endorsement (or
encouragement) by Sun for users to illegally "obtain an
FYI: Encryption chips are no longer supported on SparcStations."
I googled to find more evidence, found several questions, but no
traces of real-life experience with these chips. My guess is that
they were never released on the open market, not even in the U.S.
They might have been deployed in Sun systems sold to the U.S.
I'll round off with a quote from Steve Melvin in newsgroup comp.arch
15 August 1989:
"Apparently, Sun at one time had intended to sell a data encryption
option for these machines. The encryption chip provided for was the
AMD Am9518 (which implements the official data encryption standard
(DES)). In the 3/50 and 3/60, all that was needed was to plug the chip
in (and move a jumper in the case of the 3/50) but in later
needed to drive the 9518 (one or two PALs and a buffer) were not
supplied on the motherboard. The idea was apparently dropped and as
far as we know the DES option has never been made available.
had a lot to do with the Feds (the DES chip is supposedly not
be exported from the US). Having the socket enabled by a PAL may have
had something to do with controlling the use of the DES chip."
Isn't it fun with archaeology? Does anyone know more?
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