Paper 2020/1295

Optimized Software Implementations for theLightweight Encryption Scheme ForkAE

Arne Deprez, Elena Andreeva, Jose Maria Bermudo Mera, Angshuman Karmakar, and Antoon Purnal


In this work we develop optimized software implementationsfor ForkAE, a second round candidate in the ongoing NIST lightweight cryptography standardization process. Moreover, we analyze the perfor-mance and efficiency of different ForkAE implementations on two em-bedded platforms: ARM Cortex-A9 and ARM Cortex-M0.First, we study portable ForkAE implementations. We apply a decryption optimization technique which allows us to accelerate decryption by up to 35%. Second, we go on to explore platform-specific software op-timizations. In platforms where cache-timing attacks are not a risk, we present a novel table-based approach to compute the SKINNY round function. Compared to the existing portable implementations, this technique speeds up encryption and decryption by 20% and 25%, respectively. Additionally, we propose a set of platform-specific optimizations for processors with parallel hardware extensions such as ARM NEON. Without relying on parallelism provided by long messages (cf. bit-sliced implementations), we focus on the primitive-level ForkSkinny parallelism provided by ForkAE to reduce encryption and decryption latency by up to 30%. We benchmark the performance of our implementations on the ARM Cortex-M0 and ARM Cortex-A9 processors and give a comparison withthe other SKINNY-based schemes in the NIST lightweight competition– SKINNY-AEAD and Romulus

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. CARDIS-2020
Authenticated encryptionLightweight implementationForkAENIST LWC.
Contact author(s)
arne deprez1 @ gmail com
elean @ dtu dk
2020-10-19: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Arne Deprez and Elena Andreeva and Jose Maria Bermudo Mera and Angshuman Karmakar and Antoon Purnal},
      title = {Optimized Software Implementations for theLightweight Encryption Scheme ForkAE},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1295},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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