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NIST has initiated a process to solicit, evaluate, and standardize lightweight cryptographic algorithms that are suitable for use in constrained environments where the performance of current NIST cryptographic standards is not acceptable. In August 2018, NIST published a call for algorithms (test vector generation code) to be considered for lightweight cryptographic standards. The deadline for submitting algorithms has passed.
NIST received 57 submissions to be considered for standardization. After the initial review of the submissions, 56 were selected as Round 1 Candidates. Of the 56 Round 1 candidates, 32 were selected to continue to Round 2.
On March 29, 2021, NIST announced ten finalists as ASCON, Elephant, GIFT-COFB, Grain128-AEAD, ISAP, Photon-Beetle, Romulus, Sparkle, TinyJambu, and Xoodyak
The success of the NIST Lightweight Crypto Standardization process relies on the efforts of the researchers from the cryptographic community that provide security, implementation and performance analysis of the candidate algorithms. NIST strongly encourages public evaluation and publication of the results throughout the process.
The final round of the standardization process is expected to conclude late in 2022.