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The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

Low-Power and High-Performance Design


for Cryptosystem Using Power Aware and Pipeline Techniques
Minh-Tung DAM
Center of Electrical
Engineering
DUYTAN University,
Danang, Vietnam
damminhtung@dtu.edu.vn

Van-Cuong NGUYEN
Faculty of Electronics&
Telecommunications
DANANG University of
Technology,Vietnam
ngvancuong2000@gmail.com

Keywords AES; Low Power Design; SHA; Cryptosystem

INTRODUCTION
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Cryptographic algorithms are utilized for security services


in various applications ranging from wireless networks to smart
grids with some specific area and performance needs. Until
modern times, cryptography referred almost exclusively to
encryption, which is the process of converting ordinary
information into unintelligible gibberish. Decryption is the
reverse, in other words, moving from the unintelligible cipher
text back to plaintext. In November 2001, with some minor
changes, the block cipher Rijndael takes the name AES [1] and
is announced as the new block cipher standard of US
government. The AES replaces the aged DES [2] (Data
Encryption Standard) algorithm which was designed back in
late 1970s.
As AES is a standardized encryption algorithm and
considered secure, it has become the default choice in
numerous applications. With its longer and flexible key sizes,
AES algorithm seems to be the subject of outreach efforts of
exhaustive search for the near future. Over the past 10 years,
through deeper analysis and conducted measurements, AES has
gained significant confidence for its security. AES algorithm is
a complex computational algorithm that requires a huge
number of resources and power consumption in applications. In
recent literature, some implementations of the AES algorithm
in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) [3-6] and in
Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) [7-9] are
reported. However, most of them focus on the performance of

978-1-4799-6956-2/14/$31.00 2014 IEEE

Thang-Dong TRAN LE
Center of Electrical
Engineering
DUYTAN University,
Danang, Vietnam
tranthangdong@duytan.edu.vn

high throughput, which are not area-efficient and result in high


power consumption. Whereas, with the shift of the
technological trend towards the power aware system design,
low power AES architectures gain importance over area and
high-performance oriented designs.
Besides that, to enhance the level security of information
with various environments, many research works have focused
on improving the encryptions and authentications. For
example, Himanshu Gupta [10] employed the multiple
encryptions of secure electronic transactions by using the MD
and SHA algorithm. In [11], Sairam Natarajan proposed four
famous cryptographic algorithms to implement multilevel
security or to create the multi-cipher text, which included AES,
DES, Rivest Shamir Adleman and Ceaser. Jayant [12]
proposed a method with double encryptions for protecting the
sensitive image. Almost researching works are implemented at
algorithm level and are programmed on CPU platform. A
critical problem when deploying these methods with multiple
encryptions, or when combining encryptions and authentication
on CPU platform, is that they are not satisfied the real-time
applications. For example, there is problem with run-time
video conference or the video on the scene that captures from
UAVs to Base. In our previous works [13]-[14], we proposed a
novel architecture for Cryptosystem by using only AES
algorithm to enhance the level security of information while the
encryption processing is suitable for real time requirements.
However, none of the above works referred to the solution
optimized for low energy/power consumption that is also a
very important factor in modern applications such as the video
conference, the video on the scene in military, remote surgery
in medicine and satellite space. For example, as the military
services to improve battlefield communications by cameras, the
need to secure communications both in transmission and at rest
in which the devices are lost or stolen and low power/energy
devices becomes paramount. Therefore, they need to seek the
cryptosystem that meets the high level of information security
while also falling within low power/energy consumption and
high speed processing which adapts to the real time
requirements in urgent situations. Based on the urgent
requirements, thus, in this paper, we continue our previous
work in [13]-[14] by proposing the power aware technique and

Abstract It has been a decade since the National Institute of


Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected the Rijndael
algorithm as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Since
then, AES becomes the new block cipher standard of US
government. A couple of years ago, with the shift of the
technological trend towards the power aware system design, low
power AES architectures gain importance over area and
performance oriented designs. In this study, we proposed a low
power design called power aware technique for cryptosystem to
reduce the power consumption while promising to enhance the
level of security and achieve the high performance that adapts its
self to the applications with real time requirement.

I.

Trong-Tuan NGUYEN
Danang, Center of IC
(CENTIC) - Vietnam
tuannt@centic.vn

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The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

applying pipeline technique for cryptosystem and


authentication using AES and SHA-512 (Secure Hash
Algorithm) with target designs: the low power/energy
consumption, the high speed processing that adapts
applications with real-time requirements, the enhancement of
level security and the efficiency of hardware resource. Because
of the highest power consumption in overall cryptosystem and
authentication, in this paper, we focus on evaluating the power
consumption of AES_core.

for small silicon area. Feldhofer [8] introduced an AES


implementation suited for passively-powered devices like
RFID tags. It comprises an 8-bit data-path which occupies an
area of 3,595 gates (including registers and control logic) when
synthesized using a 0.35 m standard cell library. M. Feldhofer
[9] showed that the AES algorithm allows for a wide range of
trade-offs between performance, power consumption, and
hardware cost.
However, most of them focus on the performance of AES
core, which does not result in low power consumption.
Therefore, the requirements of high speed, small area and high
throughput for high-performance of AES core are met by
existing AES implementations. In contrast, for low power
consumption requirement, the previous works did not achieve
effectively. Hence, in this paper, we proposed a power aware
technique for Cryptosystem that has low power consumption as
well as a good performance balance.

This paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, the related


researches and overview of our previous works are explained.
In Section 3, we propose the power aware technique for
cryptosystem and authentication for reducing power/energy
consumption. In Section 4, experimental results and
comparisons are provided. Finally, section 5 presents our
conclusions.

B. Our Previous Works


Cryptographic algorithms in general and AES algorithm in
particular will consist of two main elements: key expansion;
permutation and replacement data. In order to speed up the
encryption/decryption data, our previous work [13] proposed
the pipelined architecture for SubBytes, ShiftRow,
MixColumn, AddRoundKey. Moreover, in [14], we also used
the simultaneous Encryptions/Decryptions AES HW-Threads
to expand the AES processing speed.
As mentioned above, the operation of AES algorithm is
involved in two main steps: AES_Key_Expander and AES
Transformation. Fig. 1 shows the pipelined architecture for
AES Transformation procedures. In the AES Transformation,
there are four basic procedures: SubBytes, ShiftRow,
MixColumn and AddRoundKey. In these procedures, the key
operations are permutation and replacement with SBOX and
Key_Expander. We shall combine RTL design of four
procedures in one combination circuit which is processed
within one clock cycle. Fig. 2 describes the combination circuit
for AES Transformation with only one clock cycle processing.
For this pipelined architecture, with 128-bits data-in, our
design shall operate in 10, 12 and 14 clock cycles with mode
keys of 128, 192 and 256, respectively.

II. RELATED WORKS

6B

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A. Current Researches
AES algorithm has received significant interest over the
past decade due to its performance and security level. Both
ASIC and FPGA have been used for implementing AES.
However, because of the advantages of the fast time to market,
low design cost and reusability, FPGA has been becoming the
modern trend for embedded system demands. Most of the
published AES hardware designs focused on high speed, low
area occupancy and high throughput for implementation in
FPGAs. For example, Singh and Mehra [3] researched an
FPGA-based high-speed and area-efficient AES encryption for
data security using a fully pipelined design. The operational
frequency can be up to 347.6 MHz and the throughput can be
up to 44.5 Gbps. Nalini Iyer [4] exploited functional block
resource sharing between encryption, decryption as well as onthe-fly key scheduler generation. They proposed two
architectures: (1) Iterative architecture is optimized for area
with frequency and hardware efficiency at the values of 188
MHz and 0.09 Mbps/slices, respectively. (2) Pipeline
architecture is optimized for speed with frequency and
hardware efficiency at the values of 373 MHz and 3.8
Mbps/slices, respectively. Yulin Zhang [5] used the BRAM to
store the S-box values and exploited two kinds of BRAM: one
for round of transformation, the other for key expansion. By
combining the operations in a single round, the critical delay is
reduced. The clock frequency can be up to 271.15 MHz and the
throughput can be up to 34.7 Gbps. Chih-Peng Fan [6] also
proposed two architectures: (1) Sequential architecture with
frequency and throughput up to 75.3 MHz and 0.876 Gbps,
respectively. (2) Fully pipeline architecture with frequency and
throughput up to 222.2 MHz and 28.4 Gbps, respectively.
In addition, some ASIC implementations have been
reported in the literature. For example, Hodjat [7] developed a
3.84 Gbps AES crypto coprocessor with modes of operation
based on a 0.18 m CMOS technology. Their design features a
128-bit data-path and encrypts a block of data in 11 clock
cycles. A completely different design approach is necessary
when optimizing AES hardware for low power consumption or
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Fig.1. The architecture of Pipelined for AES Tranformation

37

The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

of the static and dynamic parts. The static power is caused


mainly by the leakage current between power supply and
ground. It depends much on the transistor technology and
operating temperature and it is not feasible to control at system
level. Therefore, the leakage current was not taken into
consideration because of its negligible level. Because of
programmability of FPGA, the dynamic power is design
dependent. Hence, there are three major strategies in FPGA
power consumption reduction: The effective capacitance of
resources, the resources utilization, and the switching activity
of resources. The effective capacitance corresponds to the sum
of parasitic effects due to interconnection wires and transistors.
Since FPGA architecture usually provides more resources than
required to implement a particular design, some resources are
not used after chip configuration and they do not consume the
dynamic power. This is referred to as resource utilization.
Switching activity represents the average number of signal
transitions in a clock cycle. Generally, it depends on the clock
itself. Our proposed technique based on the third strategy. In
place of a global clock, the AES core needs a system clock to
activate all three Key_Expander modules. It means that the
overall system operates in which all three Key_Expander
modules are activated simultaneously. Fig.4 shows the
waveform of active clocks for all three Key_Expander modules
of 128, 192 and 256. Obviously, when the system clock is
activated, all clocks of three Key_Expander modules are also
activated to work concurrently. The active clocks for all three
Key_Expander modules are activated during one phase of
operation only and they do not change for a long period of
time. However, after completing the processing of key
expander, only one of the key expander results is selected to be
processed in the AES transformation procedure. The results of
other Key_Expander modules will not be used in this
procedure. Therefore, a significant amount of dissipated power
by the clock driver is wasted.

Fig. 2. Combination circuit for AES Tranformation

III.

PROPOSED POWER AWARE TECHNIQUE FOR AES


ALGORITHM
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Fig. 3. The overall diagram of the embedded system

A. The overall diagram of the embedded system.


The embedded system is shown in Fig. 3. The IP core
(AES&SHA-512) connects to 64-bit AXI Bus. The
ARM/Microblazer processor plays the importance role of the
controller and sets the require parameters in the data-transfer
processing. After receiving the message, it sets the necessary
parameters for SHA-512 and AES to start the operation. The
output value of the SHA-512 authentication is compared to the
message authentication code. If the results are the same, the
AES core operates to encrypt/decrypt the message. In this
paper, we focus on evaluating the power consumption and
performance of AES core in this Cryptosystem and
authentication by using power aware and pipeline technique.
B
7

B. Proposed power aware technique for AES algorithm .


FPGAs represent an evolutionary improvement in gate
array technology which offers potential reductions in prototype
system costs and product time-to-market. It is clear that that
FPGAs have the capability of being reconfigurable within a
system, which can be a big favorable in applications that need
multiple trial versions. For example, they can be used in an
encryption scheme to perform the encryption using whatever
encryption algorithm programmed into it. Moreover, we can
use the same chip for multiple rounds of encryption that
combine different encryption algorithms. In this paper, we
focus on implementing a low power design called power aware
technique to reduce the power/energy consumption of AES
algorithm. This new technique reduced the power
consumption. Only clock signals of those modules which
working with valid data are active.
Power consumption is taken into consideration when
designing the AES algorithm. FPGA chip power is comprises
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Fig. 4. Waveform of Active Clocks for all threeKey_Expander modules

We have proposed a power aware technique which will


gate the clock and thus reduce the power dissipation by
significant percentage. Minimizing power consumption is a
question of avoiding unnecessary signal transitions which do
not contribute to the computation in question. Power aware
technique can be used to eliminate the requirement for any
global clock in a system. By eliminating any global clock, we

38

The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

eliminate a major source of power consumption. We apply this


idea to turn off the activity on the clock net as one way of
reducing power consumption. In AES algorithm, at the same
time, only one of the selected Key_Expander modules of 128,
192 or 256 is needed to use as shown in Fig. 5.

Integrated Logic Analyzer (ILA) into the design and


connecting them properly, the signals in the design can be
monitored. Fig.7 shows the clock signals that are activated and
deactivated from FPGA through ChipScope tool after
programming the Spartan-6 LX45 device.

Fig. 5. Waveform of Active Clock for each Key_Expander module

Therefore, we divide our design into three clock regions called


Key_Exp_128clock, Key_Exp_192 clock and Key_Exp_256
clock which are corresponding to three keys of 128, 192 and
256. The essential idea in our proposed technique is to
eliminate any unused clock and activate the clock
corresponding to module which valid data is working. In AES
architecture, each Key_Expander module of 128, 192 or 256
operates asynchronously with respect to each other. The clock
at other modules are locked if it is unused. It can be satisfied to
the local needs. For example, if key 128-bit is selected, only
Key_Exp_128 clock is activated. Meanwhile, Key_Exp_192
clock and Key_Exp_256 clock are deactivated during the
Key_Expander processing. Similarly, the clocks of
Key_Exp_128and Key_Exp_256 are deactivated if clock of
Key_Exp_192is activated. Hence, the overall power/energy
consumption is decreased significantly.
Comparing to the AES core with active clock for all three
Key_Expander modules of 128, 192, 256; our proposed
method with active clock for each Key_Expander module of
128, 192, 256 only consumes energy when each module is in
active mode. The other remaining modules are either quiescent
because of turning off clocks. All remaining Key_Expander
modules are quiescent until they are activated. After
completion of its task, it returns to a quiescent, almost nondissipating state until a next activation.
IV.

Fig. 6. The Current and Dynamic Power are measured by Digilent Adept tool.

(a) Only clock signal of key_128 is activated

(b) All clock signals of keys 128, 192 and 256 are activated
Fig. 7. The captured signals are displayed and analyzedby using the
ChipScope Pro Analyzer tool.

EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND COMPARISONS


B
3

From Table I, as compared the case of active clock for


each
Key_Expander
to
active
clocks
for
all
threeKey_Expander modules, static power consumption is
reduced by 17% and 8% at 100 and 200 MHz clock
frequencies, respectively.

Our proposed system is synthesized and implemented using


Xilinx Design Suite 14.5 and Atlys Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA
device which is also used to measure the dynamic power by
Digilent Adept tool as shown in Fig.6. Besides that, the static
power is measured by XPower Analyzer tool in ISE 14.5. The
results of these implementations are compared with those
found in the literature.
The Xilinxs ChipScope tool is used for tracing run-time
values operation on Atlys Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA device.
ChipScope is an embedded, software based logic analyzer. By
inserting an Integrated Controller Core (ICON) and an

1T

1T

TABLE I. STATIC POWER COMPARISON


Mode
Clock
(MHz)
Power(W)

39

Activate clock for each


Key_Expander
100
200
0.00596

0.01091

Activate clocks for all


three Key_Expanders
100
200
0.007140

0.01190

The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

Table II shows the comparisons between AES core with


active clock for each Key_Expander module and AES core
with active clocks for all three Key_Expander modules in term
of the current and the dynamic power consumption. In this
table, the current consumption and dynamic power
consumption are average values that are taken from 10
different random times. Case 1 is the case of without using our
proposed power aware technique. Otherwise, Case 2 uses our
proposed technique. As can be seen from the Table II, the
dynamic power and current in Case 2 are reduced remarkably
compared with Case 1. For example, compared with Case 1,
the power consumption of Case 2 is significantly reduced by
29%, 23% and 24% in encode mode of Keys 128, 192 and 256,
respectively. Similarly, our proposed technique in Case 2
consumes less power than Case 1 by 29%, 22.2%, 23.7% in
decode mode of keys 128, 192 and 256, respectively. Besides
that, the current consumption is decreased by 29.2%, 22.6%
and 24.1% in encode mode of keys 128, 192 and 256,
respectively.
We can quantify the throughput of AES encryption
processing for each block of 128-bits as follow:

cycles, 13 clock cycles and 15 clock cycles, respectively. With


the maximum frequency synthesis result, the parameters of
throughput and performance for this design are indicated on
Table III.
Table III shows the comparison between our proposed
design and four other previous designs in term of performance
and low power consumption. Each design is implemented by
different technology with various parameters such as clock
frequency, supply voltage. Therefore, it is difficult to compare
them directly. However, the comparison still gives us
meaningful information. As compared with other designs in
[15]-[18], our design in case 1 consumes the fourth lowest
power. However, in case 2, when we apply the power aware
technique, we achieve the lowest power consumption with
222.75 mW. Besides that, our design in case 1 and case 2 has
the largest throughput than other designs with 1.327 and 1.578
Gbps, respectively. Although the hardware efficiency in option
1 of the design in [18] is a little better than our design in which
the hardware efficiency is defined by throughput per the
number of slices. They consume four-times larger power and
six-times smaller throughput than our design. Exception for
this situation, compared with other remaining designs, we
achieve the highest hardware efficiency.
Moreover, the efficiency of throughput per power
consumption (Mbps/mW) in two cases is a great better than
other designs with 4.233 and 7.084, respectively.

1T

T
1


  

Following the proposal of AES, the time for Data_in and


Data_out is within one clock cycle. The processing time for
AES Transformation for keys 128, 192 and 256 are 11 clock

TABLE II: THE CURRENT AND DYNAMIC POWER COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO CASES
Case 1: is the case of without using our proposed
power aware technique
Mode

Case 2: is the case of using our proposed power


aware technique
128

Encode

Decode

IDLE

Encode

Decode

IDLE

Current
(mA)
Power (mW)
Mode

261.4

260.6

195

185.2

185.8

170

314.1

312.9

234

222.3

223.2

204

Current
(mA)
Power (mW)
Mode

260.4

257.9

195

201.6

200.4

170

312.6

309.3

234

242.2

240.6

204

Current
(mA)
Power (mW)

253.8

251.2

195

192.6

196.4

170

304.8

302.1

234

231.6

236.1

204

192

256

TABLE III: COMPARISON OF OUR PROPOSED DESIGN WITH PREVIOUS DESIGNS

Paper

Technology

[15]

[16]

Stratix II

Virtex 4vf100

[17]

[18]

Our design

Virtex 2 PRO

Virtex-II
XC2V1000

Spartan6-LX45

DOR

DOR + K

40

Option 1

Option 2

Case1*

Case2**

The 2014 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communications (ATC'14)

Clock Frequency
(MHz)

100

100

Power (mW)

301

283

768.06

778.84

885

1130

313.5

222.75

Max
Frequency(MHz)

475

N/A

26.88

27.32

111

90

134.7

160.253

Throughput (Gbps)

0.617

N/A

0.3441

0.3497

0.267

0.267

1.327

1.578

Area (Slices)

N/A

2856

2448

2439

452

1226

2990

2942

Hardware efficiency
(Mbps/slices)

N/A

N/A

0.1406

0.1434

0.59

0.218

0.444

0.536

Power efficiency
(Mbps/mW)

2.05

N/A

0.448

0.449

0.302

0.236

4.233

7.084

Latency (Clock
N/A
cycles)
*without using our proposed power aware technique
**using our proposed power aware technique

25

N/A

25

N/A

Therefore, it is evident that our design not only achieves


the highest throughput but also consumes the lowest power.
Generally, our proposed design achieves the highest
performance and power efficiency compared with other
previous designs.
V.

N/A

[8]

[9]

CONCLUSION
B
4

In this paper, we presented a power aware and pipeline


techniques for Cryptosystem and authentication to reduce
power consumption and, furthermore, greatly promise to
enhance the level of security and achieve the high
performance that adapts its self to the applications with realtime requirement. The result shows that our designconsumed
the low power with 222.75 mW and obtained the high
performance for real-time processing of 1.578 Gbps
throughput and hardware efficiency of 0.536 Mbps/slices. As
compared with those found in the literature, our design was
also superior in term of performance and low power
consumption.

[10]

[11]

[12]

[13]

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B
9

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