June 7, 2021
Kris Gaj - George Mason University
Performance in hardware has typically played a significant role in differentiating among leading candidates in cryptographic standardization efforts. Winners of two past NIST cryptographic contests (Rijndael in case of AES and Keccak in case of SHA-3) were ranked consistently among the two fastest candidates when implemented using FPGAs and ASICs. Hardware implementations of cryptographic operations may quite easily outperform software implementations for at least a subset of major performance metrics, such as latency, number of operations per second, power consumption, and energy usage, as well as in terms of security against physical attacks, including side-channel analysis. Using hardware also permits much higher flexibility in trading one subset of these properties for another. This paper presents high-speed hardware architectures for four lattice-based CCA-secure Key Encapsulation Mechanisms (KEMs), representing three NIST PQC finalists: CRYSTALS-Kyber, NTRU (with two distinct variants, NTRU-HPS and NTRU-HRSS), and Saber. We rank these candidates among each other and compare them with all other Round 3 KEMs based on the data from the previously reported work.