Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/034

Suit up! Made-to-Measure Hardware Implementations of Ascon

Hannes Groß and Erich Wenger and Christoph Dobraunig and Christoph Ehrenhöfer

Abstract: Having ciphers that provide confidentiality and authenticity, that are fast in software and efficient in hardware, these are the goals of the CAESAR authenticated encryption competition. In this paper, the promising CAESAR candidate Ascon is implemented in hardware and optimized for different typical applications to fully explore Ascon's design space. Thus, we are able to present hardware implementations of Ascon suitable for RFID tags, Wireless Sensor Nodes, Embedded Systems, and applications that need maximum performance. For instance, we show that an Ascon implementation with a single unrolled round transformation is only 7 kGE large, but can process up to 5.5 Gbit/sec of data (0.75 cycles/byte), which is already enough to encrypt a Gigabit Ethernet connection. Besides, Ascon is not only fast and small, it can also be easily protected against DPA attacks. A threshold implementation of Ascon just requires about 8 kGE of chip area, which is only 3.1 times larger than the unprotected low-area optimized implementation.

Category / Keywords: implementation / Authenticated encryption, CAESAR competition, hardware design, threshold implementation, Ascon

Original Publication (in the same form): 18th Euromicro Conference on Digital Systems Design (DSD 2015)

Date: received 15 Jan 2015, last revised 16 Jun 2015

Contact author: hannes gross at iaik tugraz at

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20150616:094400 (All versions of this report)

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