In its announcement, the company unveiled customized hardware designed to “unshackle” blockchain applications from the constraints of legacy cloud infrastructure. Its field programmable gate array (FPGA) frameworks are designed to optimize computing performance and decentralized security.
The company’s first two products (Accelor Performance Engine (APE) and Accelor Security Architecture (ASA)) provide the underlying hardware designed to effectively overcome the tradeoffs between security, performance, and decentralization – blockchain’s so-called “impossible triangle.”
“Blockchain has introduced valuable new techniques for how we share and secure private data, but the industry’s software has run up against an impossible triangle between decentralization, security, and performance,” says GJ Chu, Co-founder, Accelor. “Blockchain applications currently operate on top of retrofitted legacy hardware that relies on a ‘security by patch’ process and is unsuited to the rigorous computation demanded by decentralized protocols.
“Commodity CPUs are not friendly to the cryptographic, network, and database operations necessary for these systems to scale without sacrificing security and it is paramount for the industry to move these intensive computing functions onto dedicated hardware,” says Chu. “We are excited to release a crucial part of the data center infrastructure that will help Blockchain deliver on its enormous potential.”
Accelor Performance Engine overcomes barriers to scalability, says the company, by providing dedicated hardware infrastructure to optimize the computation of intensive cryptography, storage of distributed ledger data, and transaction relays over networks. APE has been tested using Hyperledger Fabric in a live real-world environment to sustain 10x greater end-to-end throughput against software-only implementations, and has a theoretical limit upwards of 200,000 transactions per second (TPS).
Accelor Security Architecture is designed to remove the most harmful threats endemic to CPU-based networking. Threats such as Spectre, Meltdown, and Foreshadow have been reported as critical in all the latest Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) of commercial processors, and enable malicious actors to read the most sensitive information, such as private cryptographic keys, which is detrimental to the development of blockchains and secure cloud computing environments.
ASA leverages an FPGA-based confidential computing model that gives users ultimate authority over their hardware, affording each individual the flexibility to choose where to place their root of trust, thereby achieving a more decentralized hardware solution.
When running blockchain applications through CPUs, the CPU is forced to juggle more than it is designed to handle, which presents a tradeoff between security and performance. Accelor’s philosophy, says the company, addresses this underlying problem by pioneering hardware architecture that caters to blockchain’s specific computing paradigm, tailored to fit each protocol’s unique requirements.
The company’s FPGA will provide a full suite of techniques to optimize performance throughput, privacy preservation, database management, network latency, and smart-contract execution, removing road blocks currently holding back Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) providers that service the DApps being developed in the industry. The rollout of its performance and security optimized architectures for blockchain networking, says the company, are initial products that set in motion its larger vision to address the spectrum of operations required by decentralized protocols.
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