Instructions and hardware designs for accelerating SNOW 3G on a software-defined radio platform


DOI: 10.1007/s10470-011-9712-8

Cite this article as:
Jenkins, C., Schulte, M. & Glossner, J. Analog Integr Circ Sig Process (2011) 69: 207. doi:10.1007/s10470-011-9712-8


Software-defined radio (SDR) is a new technology transitioning from research into commercial markets. SDR moves hardware-dominant baseband processing of multiple wireless communication protocols into software on a single chip. New cellular standards, such as HSPA+, LTE, and LTE+, require speeds in excess of 40 Mbps. SNOW 3G is a new stream cipher approved for use in these cellular protocols. Running SNOW 3G in software on our SDR platform provides a throughput of 19.1 Mbps per thread for confidentiality and 18.3 Mbps per thread for integrity. To have secure cellular communications in SDR platforms for these new protocols, the performance of security algorithms must be improved. This paper presents instruction set architecture (ISA) extensions and hardware designs for cellular confidentiality and integrity algorithms using SNOW 3G. Our ISA extensions and hardware designs are evaluated for the Sandbridge Sandblaster 3011 (SB3011) SDR platform. With our new SNOW 3G instructions, the performance of confidentiality and integrity improve by 70 and 2%, respectively. For confidentiality, power consumption increased by 2%, while energy decreased by 40%. For integrity, power consumption remained consistent, while energy decreased by 2%.


Cryptography Software-defined radio Computer architecture SNOW 3G Cellular security 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Jenkins
    • 1
  • Michael Schulte
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Glossner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ECEUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.AMD, Inc. AMD ResearchAustinUSA
  3. 3.Optimum Semiconductor Technologies, Inc.TarrytownUSA

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