Designing an ASIP for Cryptographic Pairings over Barreto-Naehrig Curves


This paper presents a design-space exploration of an application-specific instruction-set processor (ASIP) for the computation of various cryptographic pairings over Barreto-Naehrig curves (BN curves). Cryptographic pairings are based on elliptic curves over finite fields—in the case of BN curves a field \(\mathbb{F}_p\) of large prime order p. Efficient arithmetic in these fields is crucial for fast computation of pairings. Moreover, computation of cryptographic pairings is much more complex than elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) in general. Therefore, we facilitate programming of the proposed ASIP by providing a C compiler.

In order to speed up \(\mathbb{F}_p\) arithmetic, a RISC core is extended with additional scalable functional units. Because the resulting speedup can be limited by the memory throughput, utilization of multiple data-memory banks is proposed.

The presented design needs 15.8 ms for the computation of the Optimal-Ate pairing over a 256-bit BN curve at 338 MHz implemented with a 130 nm standard cell library. The processor core consumes 97 kGates making it suitable for the use in embedded systems.

This work has been supported by the UMIC Research Centre, RWTH Aachen University. The third author was supported by the European Commission through the ICT Programme under Contract ICT–2007–216499 CACE and through the ICT Programme under Contract ICT-2007-216646 ECRYPT II. Permanent ID of this document: 7e38974d56cc76a7f572f328ee4a3761. Date: 2009/06/15.