Compact Implementation and Performance Evaluation of Block Ciphers in ATtiny Devices

Thomas Eisenbarth, Zheng Gong, Tim Güneysu, Stefan Heyse, Sebastiaan Indesteege, Stéphanie Kerckhof, Francois Koeune, Tomislav Nad, Thomas Plos, Francesco Regazzoni, Francois-Xavier Standaert, Loic van Oldeneel tot Oldenzeel

Progress in Cryptology - AFRICACRYPT 2012 - 5th International Conference on Cryptology in Africa, Ifrance, Morocco, July 10-12, 2012


The design of lightweight block ciphers has been a very active research topic over the last years. However, the lack of comparative source codes generally makes it hard to evaluate the extent to which different ciphers actually reach their low-cost goals, on different platforms. This paper reports on an initiative aimed to partially relax this issue. First, we implemented 12 block ciphers on an ATMEL ATtiny45 device, and made the corresponding source code available on a webpage, with an open-source license. Common design goals and interface have been sent to all designers in order to enhance the comparability of the implementation results. Second, we evaluated the performances of these implementations according to different metrics, including energy-consumption measurements. Although inherently limited by slightly different design choices, we hope this initiative can trigger more work in this direction, e.g. by extending the list of implemented ciphers, or adding countermeasures against physical attacks in the future.

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