An Exploration of Mechanisms for Dynamic Cryptographic Instruction Set Extension

  • Philipp Grabher
  • Johann Großschädl
  • Simon Hoerder
  • Kimmo Järvinen
  • Dan Page
  • Stefan Tillich
  • Marcin Wójcik
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6917)

Abstract

Instruction Set Extensions (ISEs) supplement a host processor with special-purpose, typically fixed-function hardware components and instructions to utilize them. For cryptographic use-cases, this can be very effective due to the demand for non-standard or niche operations that are not supported by general-purpose architectures. However, one disadvantage of fixed-function ISEs is inflexibility, contradicting a need for “algorithm agility.” This paper explores a new approach, namely the provision of re-configurable mechanisms to support dynamic (run-time changeable) ISEs. Our results, obtained using an FPGA-based LEON3 prototype, show that this approach provides a flexible general-purpose platform for cryptographic ISEs with all known advantages of previous work, but relies on careful analysis of the associated security issues.

Keywords

FPGA embedded processor instruction set extension 

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Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Grabher
    • 1
  • Johann Großschädl
    • 2
  • Simon Hoerder
    • 1
  • Kimmo Järvinen
    • 3
  • Dan Page
    • 1
  • Stefan Tillich
    • 1
  • Marcin Wójcik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.FSTC, CSC Research Unit, LACSUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  3. 3.Department of Information and Computer ScienceAalto UniversityAaltoFinland

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