Implementing Cryptographic Algorithms for the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture in Two Cases


This new technical paper titled “Symmetric Cryptography on RISC-V: Performance Evaluation of Standardized Algorithms” was published by researchers at Intel, North Arizona University and Google, with partial funding from U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

“The ever-increasing need for securing computing systems using cryptographic algorithms is spurring interest in the efficient implementation of common algorithms. While the algorithms can be implemented in software using base instruction sets, there is considerable potential to reduce memory cost and improve speed using specialized instructions and associated hardware. However, there is a need to assess the benefits and costs of software implementations and new instructions that implement key cryptographic algorithms in fewer cycles. The primary aim of this paper is to improve the understanding of the performance and cost of implementing cryptographic algorithms for the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) in two cases: software implementations of the algorithms using the rv32i instruction set and using cryptographic instructions supported by dedicated hardware in additional functional units. For both cases, we describe a RISC-V processor with cryptography hardware extensions and hand-optimized RISC-V assembly language implementations of eleven cryptographic algorithms. Compared to implementations with only the rv32i instruction set, implementations with the cryptography set extension provide a 1.5× to 8.6× faster execution speed and 1.2× to 5.8× less program memory for five of the eleven algorithms. Based on our performance analyses, a new instruction is proposed to increase the implementation efficiency of the algorithms.”

Find the technical paper here. Published August 2022.

Nişancı, G.; Flikkema, P.G.; Yalçın, T. Symmetric Cryptography on RISC-V: Performance Evaluation of Standardized Algorithms. Cryptography 2022, 6, 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography6030041.

Related Reading
Why RISC-V Is Succeeding
Interest in this particular ISA is expanding, but the growth of other open-source hardware is less certain.
A Minimal RISC-V
Is there room for an even smaller version of a RISC-V processor that could replace 8-bit microcontrollers?
Customizing Processors
How custom a processor need to be depends upon many factors, but selecting the appropriate tool chain may be the right place to start.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)