Paper 2015/209

Triathlon of Lightweight Block Ciphers for the Internet of Things

Daniel Dinu, Yann Le Corre, Dmitry Khovratovich, Léo Perrin, Johann Großschädl, and Alex Biryukov


In this paper we introduce a framework for the benchmarking of lightweight block ciphers on a multitude of embedded platforms. Our framework is able to evaluate the execution time, RAM footprint, as well as binary code size, and allows one to define a custom "figure of merit" according to which all evaluated candidates can be ranked. We used the framework to benchmark implementations of 19 lightweight ciphers, namely AES, Chaskey, Fantomas, HIGHT, LBlock, LEA, LED, Piccolo, PRESENT, PRIDE, PRINCE, RC5, RECTANGLE, RoadRunneR, Robin, Simon, SPARX, Speck, and TWINE, on three microcontroller platforms: 8-bit AVR, 16-bit MSP430, and 32-bit ARM. Our results bring some new insights to the question of how well these lightweight ciphers are suited to secure the Internet of Things (IoT). The benchmarking framework provides cipher designers with an easy-to-use tool to compare new algorithms with the state-of-the-art and allows standardization organizations to conduct a fair and consistent evaluation of a large number of candidates.

Note: Updated results based on Assembler implementations for 9 of the 19 evaluated ciphers.

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Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.Journal of Cryptographic Engineering (to appear). A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the NIST Workshop on Lightweight Cryptography, which took place in Gaithersburg, MD, in June 2015.
Lightweight cryptographyBlock ciphersBenchmarkingUsage scenariosMicrocontrollers
Contact author(s)
johann groszschaedl @ uni lu
2018-06-30: last of 4 revisions
2015-03-06: received
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      author = {Daniel Dinu and Yann Le Corre and Dmitry Khovratovich and Léo Perrin and Johann Großschädl and Alex Biryukov},
      title = {Triathlon of Lightweight Block Ciphers for the Internet of Things},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2015/209},
      year = {2015},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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