High Radix Montgomery Modular Exponentiation on Reconfigurable Hardware

T. Blum, Chris­tof Paar

IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol 50, no. 7, pp. 759-764, July, 2001.


It is widely recognized that security issues will play a crucial role in the majority of future computer and communication systems. Central tools for achieving system security are cryptographic algorithms. This contribution proposes arithmetic architectures which are optimized for modern field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The proposed architectures perform modular exponentiation with very long integers. This operation is at the heart of many practical public-key algorithms such as RSA and discrete logarithm schemes. We combine a high–radix Montgomery modular multiplication algorithm with a new systolic array design. The designs are flexible, allowing any choice of operand and modulus. The new architecture also allows the use of high radices. Unlike previous approaches, we systematically implement and compare several variants of our new architecture for different bit lengths. We provide absolute area and timing measures for each architecture. The results allow conclusions about the feasibility and time-space trade-offs of our architecture for implementation on commercially available FPGAs. We found that 1024 bit RSA decryption can be done in 3.1 ms with our fastest architecture.

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