Faculty Advisor

Xinming Huang

Faculty Advisor

Wenjing Lou

Faculty Advisor

Wayne Burleson

Faculty Advisor

Berk Sunar


Identity based cryptography was first proposed by Shamir in 1984. Rather than deriving a public key from private information, which would be the case in traditional public key encryption schemes, in identity based schemes a user's identity plays the role of the public key. This reduces the amount of computations required for authentication, and simplifies key-management. Efficient and strong implementations of identity based schemes are based around easily computable bilinear mappings of two points on an elliptic curve onto a multiplicative subgroup of a field, also called pairing. The idea of utilizing the identity of the user simplifies the public key infrastructure. However, since pairing computations are expensive for both area and timing, the proposed identity based cryptosystem are hard to implement. In order to be able to efficiently utilize the idea of identity based cryptography, there is a strong need for an efficient pairing implementations. Pairing computations could be realized in multiple fields. Since the main building block and the bottleneck of the algorithm is multiplication, we focused our research on building a fast and small arithmetic core that can work on multiple fields. This would allow a single piece of hardware to realize a wide spectrum of cryptographic algorithms, including pairings, with minimal amount of software coding. We present a novel unified core design which is extended to realize Montgomery multiplication in the fields GF(2^n), GF(3^m), and GF(p). Our unified design supports RSA and elliptic curve schemes, as well as identity based encryption which requires a pairing computation on an elliptic curve. The architecture is pipelined and is highly scalable. The unified core utilizes the redundant signed digit representation to reduce the critical path delay. While the carry-save representation used in classical unified architectures is only good for addition and multiplication operations, the redundant signed digit representation also facilitates efficient computation of comparison and subtraction operations besides addition and multiplication. Thus, there is no need for transformation between the redundant and non-redundant representations of field elements, which would be required in classical unified architectures to realize the subtraction and comparison operations. We also quantify the benefits of unified architectures in terms of area and critical path delay. We provide detailed implementation results. The metric shows that the new unified architecture provides an improvement over a hypothetical non-unified architecture of at least 24.88 % while the improvement over a classical unified architecture is at least 32.07 %. Until recently there has been no work covering the security of pairing based cryptographic hardware in the presence of side-channel attacks, despite their apparent suitability for identity-aware personal security devices, such as smart cards. We present a novel non-linear error coding framework which incorporates strong adversarial fault detection capabilities into identity based encryption schemes built using Tate pairing computations. The presented algorithms provide quantifiable resilience in a well defined strong attacker model. Given the emergence of fault attacks as a serious threat to pairing based cryptography, the proposed technique solves a key problem when incorporated into software and hardware implementations. In this dissertation, we also present an efficient accelerator for computing the Tate Pairing in characteristic 3, based on the Modified Duursma Lee algorithm.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Pairing Based Cryptography, Identity Based Cryptography, Tate Pairing, Montgomery Multiplication, Robust Codes, Fault Detection, Tamper-Resilient Architecture, Cryptography, Curves, Elliptic