Paper 2021/1202

Design Space Exploration of SABER in 65nm ASIC

Malik Imran, Felipe Almeida, Jaan Raik, Andrea Basso, Sujoy Sinha Roy, and Samuel Pagliarini


This paper presents a design space exploration for SABER, one of the finalists in NIST’s quantum-resistant public-key cryptographic standardization effort. Our design space exploration targets a 65nmASIC platform and has resulted in the evaluation of 6 different architectures. Our exploration is initiated by setting a baseline architecture which is ported from FPGA. In order to improve the clock frequency (the primary goal in our exploration), we have employed several optimizations: (i) use of compiled memories in a ‘smart synthesis’ fashion, (ii) pipelining, and (iii) logic sharing between SABER building blocks. The most optimized architecture utilizes four register files, achieves a remarkable clock frequency of 1𝐺𝐻𝑧 while only requiring an area of 0.314𝑚𝑚2. Moreover, physical synthesis is carried out for this architecture and a tapeout-ready layout is presented. The estimated dynamic power consumption of the high-frequency architecture is approximately 184mW for key generation and 187mW for encapsulation or decapsulation operations. These results strongly suggest that our optimized accelerator architecture is well suited for high-speed cryptographic applications.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Application specific integrated circuitsHardware security implementationCryptography
Contact author(s)
malik imran @ taltech ee
felipe almeida @ taltech ee
jaan raik @ taltech ee
a basso @ pgr bham ac uk
sujoy sinharoy @ iaik tugraz at
samuel pagliarini @ taltech ee
2021-09-17: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Malik Imran and Felipe Almeida and Jaan Raik and Andrea Basso and Sujoy Sinha Roy and Samuel Pagliarini},
      title = {Design Space Exploration of SABER in 65nm ASIC},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1202},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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