Lightweight Ciphers on a 65 nm ASIC A Comparative Study on Energy Consumption


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Low energy consumption is an important factor in today’s technologies as many devices run on a battery and there are new applications which require long runtimes with very small batteries. As many of these devices are connected to some kind of network, they require encryption/decryption to securely transmit data. Hence, the energy consumption of the cipher is an important factor for the battery life. We evaluate the energy consumption of lightweight ciphers implemented on a custom 65 nm ASIC. Since the energies to measure are very small, we first introduce, compare and evaluate two techniques to precisely measure the energy consumption of a real cryptographic core. In our comparative investigations, using the PRINCE block cipher we examine the effect of the design architecture (roundbased versus unrolled) on the amount of energy consumption. In addition to considering other effects (like fixed key versus random key), we compare round-based implementations of different block ciphers (PRINCE, MIDORI and SKINNY) under similar settings providing first such practical investigations.


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