Design and realization of an embedded processor for cryptographic applications
Kocabaş, Övünç (2008) Design and realization of an embedded processor for cryptographic applications. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1225706 (Table of Contents)
Architectural enhancements are a set of modifications in a general-purpose processor to improve the processing of a given workload such as multimedia applications and cryptographic operations. Employing faster/enhanced arithmetic units for the existing instruction set architecture (ISA), introducing application-specific instructions to the ISA, and adding a new set of registers are common practices employed as architectural enhancements. In this thesis, we introduce and implement a set of relatively low-cost enhancement techniques to accelerate certain arithmetic operations common in cryptographic applications on a configurable and extensible embedded processor core. The proposed enhancements are generic in the sense that they can profitably be applied in many RISC processors. These enhancements are organized into, what we prefer to call as, cryptographic unit (CU) that offers an extended ISA to the programmer. We then present the speedup values obtained for various arithmetic operations and public key cryptography algorithms through these enhancements. Furthermore, hardware overhead of introducing the enhancements to the embedded extensible processor is provided in terms of chip area. Our experimental results show that the proposed architectural enhancements provides significant amount of speedup (up to one order of magnitude) in elliptic curve cryptography and RSA with a conservative increase in hardware. Last but not the least, we demonstrate that the proposed enhancements facilitate protection of cryptographic algorithms against certain side-channel attacks by reporting our case study of AES implementation hardened against cache-based attacks.
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