Reversible logic to cryptographic hardware: A new paradigm

Himanshu Thapliyal, Mark Zwolinski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Differential Power Analysis (DPA) presents a major challenge to mathematically-secure cryptographic protocols. Attackers can break the encryption by measuring the energy consumed in the working digital circuit. To prevent this type of attack, this paper proposes the use of reversible logic for designing the ALU of a cryptosystem. Ideally, reversible circuits dissipate zero energy. Thus, it would be of great significance to apply reversible logic to designing secure cryptosystems. As far as is known, this is the first attempt to apply reversible logic to developing secure cryptosystems. In a prototype of a reversible ALU for a crypto-processor, reversible designs of adders and Montgomery multipliers are presented. The reversible designs of a carry propagate adder, four-to-two and five-to-two carry save adders are presented using a reversible TSG gate. One of the important properties of the TSG gate is that it can work singly as a reversible full adder. In order to design the reversible Montgomery multiplier, novel reversible sequential circuits are also proposed which are integrated with the proposed adders to design a reversible modulo multiplier. It is intended that this paper will provide a starting point for developing cryptosystems secure against DPA attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2006 49th Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS'06
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 49th Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS'06 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: Aug 6 2006Aug 9 2007

Publication series

NameMidwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems
ISSN (Print)1548-3746


Conference2006 49th Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS'06
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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