Implementing a protected zone in a reconfigurable processor for isolated execution of cryptographic algorithms
Durahim, Onur Ahmet and Savaş, Erkay and Yumbul, Kazım (2009) Implementing a protected zone in a reconfigurable processor for isolated execution of cryptographic algorithms. In: 2009 International Conference on ReConFigurable Computing and FPGAs (ReConFig09), Cancun, Mexico
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We design and realize a protected zone inside a reconfigurable and extensible embedded RISC processor for isolated execution of cryptographic algorithms. The protected zone is a collection of processor subsystems such as functional units optimized for high-speed execution of integer operations, a small amount of local memory, and general-and special-purpose registers. We outline the principles for secure software implementation of cryptographic algorithms in a processor equipped with the protected zone. We also demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the protected zone by implementing major cryptographic algorithms, namely RSA, elliptic curve cryptography, and AES in the protected zone. In terms of time efficiency, software implementations of these three cryptographic algorithms outperform equivalent software implementations on similar processors reported in the literature. The protected zone is designed in such a modular fashion that it can easily be integrated into any RISC processor; its area overhead is considerably moderate in the sense that it can be used in vast majority of embedded processors. The protected zone can also provide the necessary support to implement TPM functionality within the boundary of a processor.
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