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ASIC Accelerator in 28 nm for the Post-Quantum Digital Signature Scheme XMSS

: Mohan, Prashanth; Wang, Wen; Jungk, Bernhard; Niederhagen, Ruben; Szefer, Jakub; Mai, Ken


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Computer Society:
IEEE 38th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2020. Proceedings : Hartford, Connecticut, USA, 18-21 October 2020, virtual event
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services (CPS), 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7281-9711-1
ISBN: 978-1-7281-9710-4
International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD) <38, 2020, Online>
Fraunhofer SIT ()

This paper presents the first 28 nm ASIC implementation of an accelerator for the post-quantum digital signature scheme XMSS. In particular, this paper presents an architecture for a novel, pipelined XMSS Leaf accelerator for accelerating the most compute-intensive step in the XMSS algorithm. This paper then presents the ASIC designs for both an existing non-pipelined accelerator architecture and the novel, pipelined XMSS Leaf accelerator. In addition, the performance of the 28 nm ASIC is compared to the same designs on 28 nm Artix-7 FPGA. The novel pipelined XMSS Leaf accelerator is 25% faster compared to the non-pipelined version in the ASIC, and both accelerator architectures have a 10 × lower power consumption than on the FPGA. The evaluation shows that the pipelining increases the frequency by 1.7× on the FPGA but only 1.2× on the ASIC, due to the critical path in the ASIC being in the memory. The non-pipelined XMSS Leaf accelerator is shown to have a significantly better area-delay and energy-delay metric on the ASIC, while the pipelined accelerator wins out in these metrics on the FPGA. Consequently, this work shows the different architectural decisions that need to be made between FPGA and ASIC designs, when selecting how to best implement post-quantum cryptographic accelerators in hardware.