nShield Solo HSM

nShield Solo hardware security modules (HSMs) are FIPS-certified PCI-Express card-based solutions that deliver cryptographic key services to applications hosted on individual servers and appliances.

nShield Solo HSMs

nShield Solo HSMs are low-profile, embedded PCI-Express cards that provide cryptographic services to one or more applications hosted on a single server or appliance. These hardened, tamper-resistant cards perform encryption, digital signing and key generation on behalf of an extensive range of commercial and custom-built applications, including certificate authorities, code signing and more.

The nShield Solo series includes nShield Solo+ and the new high-performance nShield Solo XC, which offers superior asymmetric and symmetric performance and best-in-class elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) transaction rates.

nShield Solo
Highly flexible architecture

All nShield HSMs integrate with the unique Security World architecture from Thales. With this proven technology, you can combine different nShield HSM models to build a unified ecosystem that delivers scalability, seamless failover and load balancing.

Process more data faster

nShield Solo HSMs support some of the highest cryptographic transaction rates in the industry, making them ideal for enterprise retail, IoT and other environments where throughput is critical. The nShield Solo XC offers our highest transaction performance rates and features host-side virtualization support.

Protect your proprietary applications and data

nShield Solo HSMs don’t just protect your sensitive keys and data; they also provide a secure environment for running sensitive applications. The CodeSafe option lets you execute code within nShield boundaries, protecting your applications and the data they process.

Certified hardware solutions

Thales has earned a broad set of certifications for nShield products. These certifications help our customers to demonstrate compliance while also giving them the assurance that their nShield HSMs meet stringent industry standards.

Security compliance:

  • FIPS 140-2 Level 2 and Level 3 for nShield Solo+ models; nShield Solo XC is FIPS-pending.
  • USvG6 accreditation for nShield Solo+ and nShield Solo XC models
  • Common Criteria EAL4+ (AVA_VAN.5) for nShield Solo+ models
  • Recognition of nShield Solo+ as a Qualified Signature Creation Device (QSCD)

Safety and environmental standards compliance (partial list, consult data sheet for complete listing):

  • UL, CE, FCC, C-TICK, Canada ICES
  • RoHS2, WEEE
High transaction rates

Compared to competitive HSMs, nShield Solo HSMs boast faster elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) transaction rates, as well as high RSA transaction rates. ECC, one of the most efficient cryptographic algorithms, is particularly favored where low power consumption is crucial, such as applications running on small sensors or mobile devices. nShield Solo HSMs are excellent solutions for securing IoT devices as well as traditional enterprise applications.

Wide support for APIs, cryptographic algorithms and OSs

Supported APIs

  • PKCS#11, OpenSSL, Java (JCE), Microsoft CAPI, and CNG

Supported Cryptographic Algorithms

  • Asymmetric public key algorithms: RSA, Diffie-Hellman, ECMQV, DSA, KCDSA, ECDSA, ECDH
  • Symmetric algorithms: AES, AES-GCM, ARIA, Camellia, CAST, RIPEMD160 HMAC, SEED, Triple DES
  • Hash/message digest: SHA-1, SHA-2 (224, 256, 384, 512 bit), HAS-160
  • Full Suite B implementation with fully licensed ECC including Brainpool and custom curves

nShield HSMs offers support for the majority of these cryptographic algorithms as part of the standard feature set. For organizations wishing to use ECC or South Korean algorithms, optional activation licenses are needed.

Operating Systems

  • Windows and Linux
  • nShield Solo+ additionally supports Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX and virtual environment AIX LPARs.
  • nShield Solo XC also supports virtual environments Citrix XenServer 6.5, VMware ESXi 5.5, and Windows Server 2012R2 Hyper-V.
Performance Ratings and Options

To meet the performance needs of your application, Thales e-Security provides a variety of nShield Solo models.


CodeSafe is a powerful, secure environment that lets you execute applications within the secure boundaries of nShield HSMs. Sample applications include digital meters, authentication agents, digital signature agents and custom encryption processes. CodeSafe is available with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified nShield Solo and nShield Connect HSMs.

Remote Administration Kits

Remote Administration Kits

nShield Remote Administration lets operators manage distributed nShield HSMs—including adding applications, upgrading firmware, checking status, re-booting and more—from their office locations, reducing travel and saving money. Remote Administration Kits contain the hardware and software needed to set up and use the tool. These kits are available for nShield Solo and nShield Connect HSMs.

CipherTools Developer Toolkit

The CipherTools Developer Toolkit is a set of tutorials, reference documentation, sample programs and additional libraries. With this toolkit, developers can take full advantage of the advanced integration capabilities of nShield HSMs. In addition to offering support for standard APIs, the toolkit enables you to run custom applications with nShield HSMs.

Database Security Option Pack

Databases often contain an organization's most sensitive data. To help customers protect their data, major database vendors have implemented native encryption in their products. The nShield Database Security Option Pack adds support for Microsoft’s Extensible Key Management (EKM) API, helping organizations to better protect the keys that safeguard sensitive data in Microsoft SQL Server.

Time Stamping Option Pack

Client Licenses

The Time Stamping Option Pack and optional Time Stamping Developer Software used with nShield Solo 500+ HSMs helps companies securely apply a time-stamped signature to a document. These time stamping signatures deliver high-assurance integrity to digital records management and can support a wide variety of applications, including code signing, financial transactions, legal filings, lotteries and gaming, security logs, long-term archives and more.

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Activation

The ECC activation license enables EC-DH, EC-DSA and EC-MQV to be used on an nShield HSM.

KCDSA Activation

With the KCDSA activation license, you can use the Korean Certificate-based Digital Signature Algorithm (KCSDA) as well as HAS-160, SEED and ARIA algorithms on an nShield HSM.

Smart card reader rackmount

For organizations deploying one or more nShield Solo modules in a 19" rack, the optional nShield smart card reader rackmount provides a practical and clean solution for attaching card readers in the data center. The rackmount is 1U in height and can be equipped with up to four smart card readers, which come standard with nShield Solo cards. Each unit is packaged with three blanking plates to cover any unused slots.

Data Sheet : nShield Solo

The nShield Solo is the server-embedded hardware security module (HSM) in the Thales family of high security data protection solutions.


Data Sheet : nShield Remote Administration

nShield Remote Administration creates a secure connection between your remote HSM and your local Remote Administration Cards and TVD.


White Paper : Thales Security World

The Thales Security World architecture supports a specialized key management framework that spans the entire nShield family of general purpose hardware security modules (HSMs). Whether deploying high performance, shareable, network-attached HSM appliances, host-embedded HSM cards or USB-attached portable HSMs, the Security World architecture provides a unified administrator and user experience and guaranteed interoperability whether the customer deploys one or hundreds of devices.

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