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Lightweight Cryptography Standardization: Finalists Announced
March 29, 2021

NIST has completed the review of the second-round candidates in NIST's lightweight cryptography standardization process. After careful consideration, the ten finalists moving forward to the final round are:

  • Elephant
  • Grain128-AEAD
  • ISAP
  • Photon-Beetle
  • Romulus
  • Sparkle
  • TinyJambu
  • Xoodyak

Selecting the finalists was a challenge. In the upcoming weeks, NIST will publish [NISTIR 8369] a detailed description of the decision process and rationale for selection.  The report will be available from the Lightweight Cryptography (LWC) Project Page.

NIST thanks the designers of the second-round candidates and those who have contributed to the selection process by providing security and performance analysis of the candidates. NIST hopes that the submission teams of candidates that were not selected to advance will continue to participate in the evaluation of the finalists along with the cryptographic community at large.

The final round of the standardization process is expected to last approximately 12 months. NIST will give the finalist submission teams the opportunity to provide updated specifications and implementations. Further guidelines on the tweak proposals will be provided in the upcoming days.

Questions may be directed to

Created March 29, 2021, Updated July 21, 2021