Enabling Full-Size Public-Key Algorithms on 8-Bit Sensor Nodes

  • Leif Uhsadel
  • Axel Poschmann
  • Christof Paar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4572)


In this article we present the fastest known implementation of a modular multiplication for a 160-bit standard compliant elliptic curve (secp160r1) for 8-bit micro controller which are typically used in WSNs. The major part (77%) of the processing time for an elliptic curve operation such as ECDSA or EC Diffie-Hellman is spent on modular multiplication. We present an optimized arithmetic algorithm which significantly speed up ECC schemes. The reduced processing time also yields a significantly lower energy consumption of ECC schemes. With our implementation results we can show that a 160-bit modular multiplication can be performed in 0.39 ms on an 8-bit AVR processor clocked at 7.37 MHz. This brings the vision of asymmetric cryptography in the field of WSNs with all its benefits for key-distribution and authentication a step closer to reality.


wireless sensor network elliptic curve cryptography 8-bit micro controller Micaz secp160r1 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Uhsadel
    • 1
  • Axel Poschmann
    • 1
  • Christof Paar
    • 1
  1. 1.Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Communication Security Group (COSY), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44780 BochumGermany

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