Mitsubishi Electric has developed a prototype encryption device that can handle IPsec v2 on 10 Gbp/s Ethernet.

The encryption and decryption units are developments on the company's existing hardware for Gigabit Ethernet and were demonstrated at Mitsubishi Electric's Japanese research and development centre.

The company has managed to increase the amount of data that can be processed each second by expanding parallel encryption of data packets inside the device, said Shinobu Ushirozawa, manager of the network security architecture team at Mitsubishi Electric's network security technology department. This was the bottleneck preventing faster speeds, but with 50 parallel data processing units 10 Gbp/s Ethernet could be supported.

Four encryption algorithms - AES, Camellia, MISTY and 3DES - can now be handled by the device and two authentication algorithms - SHA1 and 256-bit SHA2 - are ready, said Ushirozawa.

Mitsubishi Electric has already begun promoting the unit to customers in some industries and is working on an even faster model for 100 Gbp/s networks. Such a device could be available next year, Ushirozawa said.

The company has also developed four integrated circuits necessary for 10G bps fiber-to-the-home networks. Currently, broadband Internet connections in Japan use 1G bps access lines that are typically shared between a handful of houses or apartments but carriers are already looking ahead to a next generation service that increases speeds ten-fold.

To realise such networks the development of several low-cost components is necessary. Among these are the four chips that Mitsubishi Electric showed as samples. There still remain a number of devices to be realised including new lasers and diodes for both the optical line transmission unit used by the carrier and the optical network unit in the consumer's home.

Mitsubishi Electric engineers estimate developments over the next few years will lead to commercialisation of 10G bps fibre-to-the-home in Japan around 2010.