Efficient Implementation of Cryptographic Primitives on the GA144 Multi-core Architecture

Tobias Schneider, Ingo von Maurich, Tim Güneysu

24th International Conference on Application-Specific Systems, Architectures and Processors, ASAP 2013, Washington, DC, USA, June 5-7, 2013


Abstract

With myriads of small and pervasive devices in our digital age, the availability of low-power and energy-efficient processing technology has become absolutely essential. Most of these constrained devices need to incorporate security services for confidentiality and privacy in addition to their primary tasks -- typically involving computationally expensive cryptography. In the last years, many researchers have worked on novel lightweight cryptographic constructions to minimize the computational burden on the constrained devices. However, most of those alternative constructions sacrificed security for simplicity, potentially enabling just as simple attacks. In this work, we aim for another approach and implement standardized and well-established cryptography on a special but very lightweight platform, namely an asynchronous GA144 ultra-low-powered multi-core processor with 144 simplistic cores. For the first time, we demonstrate that symmetric and asymmetric cryptography such as AES and RSA is even feasible on such a low-end and unclocked device. With energy consumption being as low as 0.63 µJ and 22.3 mJ, this platform achieves a performance of 38 µs and 462.9 ms per AES and RSA operation, respectively. Both energy consumption as well as computation time are significantly lower than many lightweight implementations reported so far.

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