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There are several emerging areas (e.g. sensor networks, healthcare, distributed control systems, the Internet of Things, cyber physical systems) in which highly-constrained devices are interconnected, typically communicating wirelessly with one another, and working in concert to accomplish some task. Because the majority of current cryptographic algorithms were designed for desktop/server environments, many of these algorithms do not fit into constrained devices.
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. NIST has 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.
Due to the large number of submissions and the short timeline of the NIST lightweight cryptography standardization process, some of the candidates were eliminated from consideration early in the first evaluation phase in order to focus analysis on the more promising 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 final round of the standardization process is expected to last approximately 12 months. NIST will host a workshop near the end of the evaluation period.
|July 20-21, 2015||First Lightweight Cryptography Workshop at NIST|
|August 11, 2016||(Draft) NISTIR 8114 is published.|
|October 17-18, 2016||Second Lightweight Cryptography Workshop at NIST|
|October 31, 2016||End of public comment period to Draft NISTIR 8114
Public comments received (August 11 - October 31,2016)
March 28, 2017
|NISTIR 8114, Report on Lightweight Cryptography is published.|
|April 26, 2017||(Draft) Profiles for Lightweight cryptography standardization process is published.|
|June 16, 2017||Public comments received (April 26 - June 16, 2017)|
|May 14, 2018||(Draft) Submission Requirements and Evaluation Criteria for the Lightweight cryptography standardization process is published.|
|May 14, 2018||Federal Register Notice is published.|
|June 28, 2018||End of public comment period to the submission requirement.
Public comments received (May 14-June 28, 2018).
|August 27, 2018||Federal Register Notice is published|
|August 27, 2018||Submission Requirements and Evaluation Criteria for the Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process is published.|
|January 4, 2019||Early submission deadline for early feedback|
|February 25, 2019||Submission deadline|
|March 29, 2019||Amendment Deadline|
|April 18, 2019||Announcement of the Round 1 Candidates|
|August 30, 2019||Announcement of Round 2 Candidates|
|October 7, 2019||NISTIR 8268, Status Report on the First Round of the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process is published|
|November 4-6, 2019||Third Lightweight Cryptography Workshop at NIST|
|October 19-21, 2020||Fourth Lightweight Cryptography Workshop (virtual)|
|March 29, 2021||Announcement of Finalist Candidates|