Memory encryption for general-purpose processors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intel's Software Guard Extensions allows general-purpose computing platforms to run software in a trustworthy manner and securely handle encrypted data. To satisfy the technology's security goals, the external system memory must be cryptographically protected. A new hardware unit added to the processor's memory controller - the Memory Encryption Engine (MEE) - was recently developed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and freshness of this external memory traffic, against eavesdropping and tampering. The MEE is a successful feat of real-world cryptographic engineering: it's the first time such cryptographic memory protection has been added to a widely deployed general-purpose processor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7782706
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Security and Privacy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2003-2012 IEEE.


  • cryptography
  • general-purpose processor
  • hardware
  • memory
  • privacy
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Law


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