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Hardware/Software Co-design of Elliptic Curve Cryptography on an 8051 Microcontroller

9 years 11 months ago
Hardware/Software Co-design of Elliptic Curve Cryptography on an 8051 Microcontroller
8-bit microcontrollers like the 8051 still hold a considerable share of the embedded systems market and dominate in the smart card industry. The performance of 8-bit microcontrollers is often too poor for the implementation of public-key cryptography in software. In this paper we present a minimalist hardware accelerator for enabling elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) on an 8051 microcontroller. We demonstrate the importance of removing system-level performance bottlenecks caused by the transfer of operands between hardware accelerator and external RAM. The integration of a small direct memory access (DMA) unit proves vital to exploit the full potential of the hardware accelerator. Our design allows to perform a scalar multiplication over the binary extension field GF(2191 ) in 118 msec at a clock frequency of 12 MHz. Considering performance and hardware cost, our system compares favorably with previous work on similar 8-bit platforms.
Manuel Koschuch, Joachim Lechner, Andreas Weitzer,
Added 20 Aug 2010
Updated 20 Aug 2010
Type Conference
Year 2006
Where CHES
Authors Manuel Koschuch, Joachim Lechner, Andreas Weitzer, Johann Großschädl, Alexander Szekely, Stefan Tillich, Johannes Wolkerstorfer
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