Paper 2022/1613

Classic McEliece Key Generation on RAM constrained devices

Rainer Urian, Infineon Technologies (Germany)
Raphael Schermann, Graz University of Technology

Classic McEliece is a code based encryption scheme and candidate of the NIST post quantum contest. Implementing Classic McEliece on smart card chips is a challenge, because those chips have only a very limited amount of RAM. Decryption is not an issue because the cryptogram size is short and the decryption algorithm can be implemented using very few RAM. However key generation is a concern, because a large binary matrix must be inverted. In this paper, we show how key generation can be done on smart card chips with very little RAM resources. This is accomplished by modifying the key generation algorithm and splitting it in a security critical part and a non security critical part. The security critical part can be implemented on the smart card controller. The non critical part contains the matrix inversion and will be done on a connected host.

Available format(s)
Public-key cryptography
Publication info
Classic McEliece post quantum cryptography smart card chips key generation
Contact author(s)
rainer urian @ infineon com
raphael schermann @ student tugraz at
2022-11-21: approved
2022-11-19: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Rainer Urian and Raphael Schermann},
      title = {Classic {McEliece} Key Generation on {RAM} constrained devices},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1613},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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