Exploiting the Power of GPUs for Asymmetric Cryptography

Robert Szerwinski, Tim Güneysu

Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems - CHES 2008, 10th International Workshop, Washington, D.C., USA, August 10-13, 2008.


Modern Graphics Processing Units (GPU) have reached a dimension with respect to performance and gate count exceeding conventional Central Processing Units (CPU) by far. Many modern computer systems include – beside a CPU – such a powerful GPU which runs idle most of the time and might be used as cheap and instantly available co-processor for general purpose applications. In this contribution, we focus on the efficient realisation of the computationally expensive operations in asymmetric cryptosystems on such off-the-shelf GPUs. More precisely, we present improved and novel implementations employing GPUs as accelerator for RSA and DSA cryptosystems as well as for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). Using a recent Nvidia 8800GTS graphics card, we are able to compute 813 modular exponentiations per second for RSA or DSA-based systems with 1024 bit integers. Moreover, our design for ECC over the prime field P-224 even achieves the throughput of 1412 point multiplications per second.

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