My distribution has recently updated GnuTLS and suddenly some of applications that I use on charlie would crash. It turned out that GnuTLS had implemented Padlock-based acceleration which was a little buggy on VIA C7. I filed a bug report, hooked up one of the developers with SSH access and a little while later it got fixed. Benchmark results on a 800MHz Esther processor below.
ARCFOUR, 3DES and SHA512 are not supported by the Padlock hardware crypto engine. There is however a marked improvement in the performance for other functions, especially AES-128-CBC which skyrockets to 0.56 GB per second and doesn’t even fit on the graph. SHA-1 and SHA-256 are not too shabby either. Raw results from one of the runs here: http://pastebin.com/UzbiuDxy
I am happy to see the padlock engine supported by another major crypto library. Special thanks to Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos for implementing this in GnuTLS.