An exploration of mechanisms for dynamic cryptographic instruction set extension

Philipp Grabher, Johann Groszschaedl, Simon Hoerder, Kimmo Järvinen, Daniel Page, Stefan Tillich, Marcin Wojcik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

1 Citation (Scopus)


Instruction Set Extensions (ISEs) supplement a host processor with special-purpose, typically fixed-function hardware components and instructions to utilize them. For cryptographic use-cases, this can be very effective due to the demand for non-standard or niche operations that are not supported by general-purpose architectures. However, one disadvantage of fixed-function ISEs is inflexibility, contradicting a need for “algorithm agility.” This paper explores a new approach, namely the provision of re-configurable mechanisms to support dynamic (run-time changeable) ISEs. Our results, obtained using an FPGA-based LEON3 prototype, show that this approach provides a flexible general-purpose platform for cryptographic ISEs with all known advantages of previous work, but relies on careful analysis of the associated security issues.
Translated title of the contributionAn Exploration of Mechanisms for Dynamic Cryptographic Instruction Set Extension
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems - CHES 2011
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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