Optimizing the Control Hierarchy of an ECC Coprocessor Design on an FPGA Based SoC Platform

  • Xu Guo
  • Patrick Schaumont
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5453)


Most hardware/software codesigns of Elliptic Curve Cryptography only have one central control unit, typically a 32 bit or 8 bit processor core. With the ability of integrating several soft processor cores into one FPGA fabric, we can have a hierarchy of controllers in one SoC design. Compared to the previous codesigns trying to optimize the communication overhead between the central control unit and coprocessor over bus by using different bus protocols (e.g. OPB, PLB and FSL) or advanced techniques (e.g. DMA), our approach prevents overhead in bus transactions by introducing a local 8 bit microcontroller, PicoBlaze, in the coprocessor. As a result, the performance of the ECC coprocessor can be almost independent of the selection of bus protocols. To further accelerate the Uni-PicoBlaze based ECC SoC design, a Dual-PicoBlaze based architecture is proposed, which can achieve the maximum instruction rate of 1 instruction/cycle to the ECC datapath. Using design space exploration of a large number of system configurations of different architectures discussed in this paper, our proposed Dual-PicoBlaze based design also shows best trade-off between area and speed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xu Guo
    • 1
  • Patrick Schaumont
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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