Paper 2008/122

TinyECCK: Efficient Elliptic Curve Cryptography Implementation over $GF(2^m)$ on 8-bit MICAz Mote

Seog Chung Seo, Dong-Guk Han, and Seokhie Hong


In this paper, we revisit a generally accepted opinion: implementing Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem (ECC) over $GF(2^m)$ on sensor motes using small word size is not appropriate because XOR multiplication over $GF(2^m)$ is not efficiently supported by current low-powered microprocessors. Although there are some implementations over $GF(2^m)$ on sensor motes, their performances are not satisfactory enough to be used for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). We have found that a field multiplication over $GF(2^m)$ are involved in a number of redundant memory accesses and its inefficiency is originated from this problem. Moreover, the field reduction process also requires many redundant memory accesses. Therefore, we propose some techniques for reducing unnecessary memory accesses. With the proposed strategies, the running time of field multiplication and reduction over $GF(2^{163})$ can be decreased by 21.1\% and 24.7\%, respectively. These savings noticeably decrease execution times spent in Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) operations (signing and verification) by around $15\% \sim 19\%$. We present TinyECCK (Tiny Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem with Koblitz curve -- a kind of TinyOS package supporting elliptic curve operations) which is the fastest ECC implementation over $GF(2^m)$ on 8-bit sensor motes using ATmega128L as far as we know. Through comparisons with existing software implementations of ECC built in C or hybrid of C and inline assembly on sensor motes, we show that TinyECCK outperforms them in terms of running time, code size and supporting services. Furthermore, we show that a field multiplication over $GF(2^m)$ can be faster than that over $GF(p)$ on 8-bit ATmega128L processor by comparing TinyECCK with TinyECC, a well-known ECC implementation over $GF(p)$. TinyECCK with sect163k1 can compute a scalar multiplication within 1.14 secs on a MICAz mote at the expense of 5,592-byte of ROM and 618-byte of RAM. Furthermore, it can also generate a signature and verify it in 1.37 and 2.32 secs with 13,748-byte of ROM and 1,004-byte of RAM.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. It is a full version of IEICE Trans. Vol.E91-D,No.5,pp.-,May. 2008.
ECCsensor moteMicazbinary filedTinyECCAtmega128
Contact author(s)
christa @ etri re kr
2008-03-17: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Seog Chung Seo and Dong-Guk Han and Seokhie Hong},
      title = {TinyECCK: Efficient Elliptic Curve Cryptography Implementation over $GF(2^m)$ on 8-bit MICAz Mote},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2008/122},
      year = {2008},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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