ATHENa - Automated Tool for Hardware EvaluatioN: Software Environment for Fair and Comprehensive Performance Evaluation of Cryptographic Hardware using FPGAs




Amirineni, Venkata A.

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Fair comparison of the hardware efficiency of cryptographic algorithms, modeled in Hardware Description Languages and implemented using FPGAs, is a complex task. The results of the comparison depend on the inherent properties of competing algorithms, as well as on selected hardware architectures, implementation techniques, FPGA families, languages and tools. The development of new cryptographic standards through contests, such as AES, eSTREAM, and SHA-3 competitions, requires fair comparison of multiple cryptographic algorithms in terms of their hardware efficiency. To address this issue and to provide a comprehensive environment for an efficient evaluation of multiple algorithms, ATHENa, Automated Tool for Hardware EvaluatioN, has been developed. ATHENa facilitates fair, comprehensive, reliable, and automated comparison of cryptographic algorithms, hardware architectures, FPGA families, as well as FPGA tools and HDL languages. In this seminar, we present the common pitfalls and difficulties involved with the fair comparisons and demonstrate the capabilities of ATHENa through several case studies.



ATHENA, Performance evaluation, Benchmark tool, Open-source