Utilizing hard cores of modern FPGA devices for high-performance cryptography

Tim Güneysu

Journal of Cryptographic Engineering, Volume 1, Number 1, 37-55, DOI: 10.1007/s13389-011-0002-2


This article presents a unique design approach for the implementation of standardized symmetric and asymmetric cryptosystems on modern FPGA devices. In contrast to many other FPGA implementations that algorithmically optimize the cryptosystems for being optimally placed in the generic array logic, our primary implementation goal is to shift as many cryptographic operations as possible into specific hard cores that have become available on many reconfigurable devices. For example, some of these dedicated functions are designed to provide large blocks of memory or fast arithmetic functions for Digital Signal Processing applications that can also be adopted for efficient cryptographic implementations. Based on these dedicated functions, we present specific design approaches that enable a performance for the symmetric AES block cipher (FIPS 197) of up to 55 GBit/s and a throughput of more than 30.000 scalar multiplications per second for asymmetric Elliptic Curve Cryptography over NIST’s P-224 prime (FIPS 186-3).


tags: AES, cores, ecc, FPGA, Function, hard, High-performance, implementations,