April 15, 2020
We are pleased to announce the first beta release of Conclave, our new platform for building secure hardware enclaves in Java.
In this post we’ll look at what Conclave is, take a brief look at how you can use it and then look at the roadmap towards the first production release.
Modern CPUs from Intel and others include support for creating enclaves. Enclaves create a tamper-proofed space for programs to execute, so that they can process data without the owner of the physical hardware being able to inspect or interfere with it.
If you can run computations without anyone having access to them, not even people who can open the computer up and modify it, then you have a powerful tool for solving all sorts of business problems. Anywhere collaboration is needed but trust is expensive can benefit from enclave technology.
Unfortunately, enclaves can be tricky to develop. The technology is complex and it’s typical for enclaves to be written in relatively low level, low productivity languages like C or Rust. As such, virtually no line-of-business applications benefit from this technology today, even though they theoretically could.
Conclave brings secure multi-party computation (or ‘confidential computing’) to the business world with three key advantages:
Existing approaches to making enclaves require a great deal of expertise in a brand new technology. Conclave makes it easy for any Java developer to get started in less than an hour.
Conclave is the foundation of the SGX support we’re developing to protect Corda transaction histories. By running smart contract logic inside an enclave it becomes possible to build a private and peer to peer yet also completely consistent database.
Today we’re announcing the availability of the first release in the Conclave beta program. Over the upcoming beta releases the feature set will be fleshed out, usability enhanced and performance upgraded. Some of the things we’re researching include:
Conclave Beta is open to all! It only takes three steps:
– Authored by Mike Hearn, Lead Platform Engineer at R3
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