AbstractsComputer Science

An Architecture for the AES-GCM Security Standard

by Sheng Wang

Institution: University of Waterloo
Year: 2006
Keywords: Electrical & Computer Engineering; AES; GCM; Security; Architecture; FPGA
Record ID: 1775350
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10012/2885


The forth recommendation of symmetric block cipher mode of operation SP800-38D, Galois/Counter Mode of Operation (GCM) was developed by David A McGrew and John Viega. GCM uses an approved symmetric key block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and a universal hashing over a binary Galois field to provide confidentiality and authentication. It is built specifically to support very high data rates as it can take advantage of pipelining and parallel processing techniques. Before GCM, SP800-38A only provided confidentiality and SP800-38B provided authentication. SP800-38C provided confidentiality using the counter mode and authentication. However the authentication technique in SP800-38C was not parallelizable and slowed down the throughput of the cipher. Hence, none of these three recommendations were suitable for high speed network and computer system applications. With the advent of GCM, authenticated encryption at data rates of several Gbps is now practical, permitting high grade encryption and authentication on systems which previously could not be fully protected. However there have not yet been any published results on actual architectures for this standard based on FPGA technology. This thesis presents a fully pipelined and parallelized hardware architecture for AES-GCM which is GCM running under symmetric block cipher AES on a FPGA multi-core platform corresponding to the IPsec ESP data flow. The results from this thesis show that the round transformations of confidentiality and hash operations of authentication in AES-GCM can cooperate very efficiently within this pipelined architecture. Furthermore, this AES-GCM hardware architecture never unnecessarily stalls data pipelines. For the first time this thesis provides a complete FPGA-based high speed architecture for the AES-GCM standard, suitable for high speed embedded applications.