High-speed ATM encryptor, certified by NSA, runs at speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps

High-speed ATM encryptor, certified by NSA, runs at speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

General Dynamics Communications Systems of Needham Heights, Mass., formerly GTE Government Systems Corp., is developing a high-speed asynchronous transfer mode encryptor for classified data at up to 2.5 Gbps.

The UltraFastlane follows General Dynamics' Fastlane, the first Type 1 ATM encryptor certified by the National Security Agency for sending classified information over public networks. Fastlane operates at the 622-Mbps OC-12 rate, and UltraFastlane, expected in the middle of this year, will operate at 2.4-Gbps OC-48 speeds.

Bob Dutton, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics' trusted network solutions group, said the Energy Department commissioned the UltraFastlane encryptor. He said it can be used for such high-bandwidth applications as live simulations, real-time collaboration and imagery over ATM networks. Energy, which oversees the nation's nuclear stockpile, has turned to detailed simulations to replace live testing of nuclear weapons.

Because it is a network encryptor rather than a dedicated link encryptor, the Fastlane can sit on a network edge and handle communications with thousands of points, each with a separate connection and key.

Dutton said the fourfold increase in speed results from new OC-48 network interfaces and faster bus speeds.

The core technology is the same, he said, which should speed up NSA certification for UltraFastlane because it is not an entirely new product. The company will continue to support Fastlane after the introduction of the faster model but eventually will phase out Fastlane production, Dutton said.

General Dynamics also is developing Taclane, another Type 1 encryptor that will provide secure communications in a single device for both IP and ATM networks.

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