An Investigation of Methods to Improve Area and Performance of Hardware Implementations of a Lattice Based Cryptosystem
Beckwith, Luke Parkhurst
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With continuing research into quantum computing, current public key cryptographic algorithms such as RSA and ECC will become insecure. These algorithms are based on the difficulty of integer factorization or discrete logarithm problems, which are difficult to solve on classical computers but become easy with quantum computers. Because of this threat, government and industry are investigating new public key standards, based on mathematical assumptions that remain secure under quantum computing. This paper investigates methods of improving the area and performance of one of the proposed algorithms for key exchanges, "NewHope." We describe a pipelined FPGA implementation of NewHope512cpa which dramatically increases the throughput for a similar design area. Our pipelined encryption implementation achieves 652.2 Mbps and a 0.088 Mbps/LUT throughput-to-area (TPA) ratio, which are the best known results to date, and achieves an energy efficiency of 0.94 nJ/bit. This represents TPA and energy efficiency improvements of 10.05× and 8.58×, respectively, over a non-pipelined approach. Additionally, we investigate replacing the large SHAKE XOF (hash) function with a lightweight Trivium based PRNG, which reduces the area by 32% and improves energy efficiency by 30% for the pipelined encryption implementation, and which could be considered for future cipher specifications.
General Audience Abstract
Cryptography is prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives. It is used to protect communication, banking information, and online transactions. Current cryptographic protections are built specifically upon public key encryption, which allows two people who have never communicated before to setup a secure communication channel. However, due to the nature of current cryptographic algorithms, the development of quantum computers will make it possible to break the algorithms that secure our communications. Because of this threat, new algorithms based on principles that stand up to quantum computing are being investigated to find a suitable alternative to secure our systems. These algorithms will need to be efficient in order to keep up with the demands of the ever growing internet. This paper investigates four hardware implementations of a proposed quantum-secure algorithm to explore ways to make designs more efficient. The improvements are valuable for high throughput applications, such as a server which must handle a large number of connections at once.
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