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NIST began investigating cryptography for constrained environments in 2013. After two workshops and discussions with stakeholders in industry, government, and academia, NIST initiated a process to solicit, evaluate, and standardize schemes providing authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD) and optional hashing functionalities for constrained environments where the performance of current NIST cryptographic standards is not acceptable. In 2018, NIST published a call for algorithms to describe the requirements, selection process and the evaluation criteria.
The timeline of the standardization process is provided here.
NIST hosted the Lightweight Cryptography Workshop 2023 to receive public feedback regarding standardization of the Ascon family. NIST is working with the Ascon team to draft the lightweight cryptography standards.
NIST thanks the submission teams, who developed and designed the candidates; the cryptographic community, who analyzed the candidates, shared their comments through the lwc-forum, and published papers on various technical aspects of the candidates; the developers who provided optimized implementations of the candidates; and organizers of hardware and software benchmarking initiatives, for their contributions in understanding the performance characteristics of the algorithms on various target platforms.