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Open AccessArticle

PAGE—Practical AES-GCM Encryption for Low-End Microcontrollers

Division of IT Convergence Engineering, Hansung University, Seoul 02876, Korea
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3131;
Received: 25 March 2020 / Revised: 25 April 2020 / Accepted: 28 April 2020 / Published: 30 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Side Channel Attacks and Countermeasures)
An optimized AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) implementation of Galois Counter Mode of operation (GCM) on low-end microcontrollers is presented in this paper. Two optimization methods are applied to proposed implementations. First, the AES counter (CTR) mode of operation is speed-optimized and ensures constant timing. The main idea is replacing expensive AES operations, including AddRound Key, SubBytes, ShiftRows, and MixColumns, into simple look-up table access. Unlike previous works, the look-up table does not require look-up table updates during the entire encryption life-cycle. Second, the core operation of Galois Counter Mode (GCM) is optimized further by using Karatsuba algorithm, compact register utilization, and pre-computed operands. With above optimization techniques, proposed AES-GCM on 8-bit AVR (Alf and Vegard’s RISC processor) architecture from short-term, middle-term to long-term security levels achieved 415, 466, and 477 clock cycles per byte, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: AES; fast software encryption; Galois Counter Mode of operation; low-end microcontrollers; side channel attack countermeasure AES; fast software encryption; Galois Counter Mode of operation; low-end microcontrollers; side channel attack countermeasure
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Kim, K.; Choi, S.; Kwon, H.; Kim, H.; Liu, Z.; Seo, H. PAGE—Practical AES-GCM Encryption for Low-End Microcontrollers. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3131.

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