SAEAES is the authenticated encryption algorithm instantiated by combining the SAEB mode of operation with AES, and a candidate of the NIST’s lightweight cryptography competition. Using AES gives the advantage of backward compatibility with the existing accelerators and coprocessors that the industry has invested in so far. Still, the newer lightweight block cipher (e.g., GIFT) outperforms AES in compact implementation, especially with the side-channel attack countermeasure such as threshold implementation. This paper aims to implement the first threshold implementation of SAEAES and evaluate the cost we are trading with the backward compatibility. We design a new circuit architecture using the column-oriented serialization based on the recent 3-share and uniform threshold implementation (TI) of the AES S-box based on the generalized changing of the guards. Our design uses 18,288 GE with AES’s occupation reaching 97% of the total area. Meanwhile, the circuit area is roughly three times the conventional SAEB-GIFT implementation (6229 GE) because of a large memory size needed for the AES’s non-linear key schedule and the extended states for satisfying uniformity in TI.
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