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Improved cipher performance

RED Semiconductor demonstrates increased cipher safety for Secure IOT, critical infrastructure and secure communications applications.

Ahead of its first ‘Vantage’ silicon implementation, RED Semiconductor has run benchmarks on ChaCha20 cipher performance using its ‘Vector+1’ vectorisation engine with OpenPOWER® true-RISC instruction set architecture that reveal improvements in real-time cipher performance, and increased resilience to cyber-attack.

“We selected ChaCha20 as it is open-source and considered to be more efficient that the AES encryption algorithm in terms of speed of execution on today’s most commonly used microprocessor platforms,” reports Luke Leighton, RED Semiconductor’s co-founder and CTO. “The RED Semiconductor instruction vectorisation precursor makes software optimisation easy, and we were able to attain a 98% reduction in instruction count for execution of 20 rounds of the cipher compared with other third-party implementations.”

The reduction in instructions means that the cipher is executed in only 10 instructions within a single line of L1 instruction cache, so critical cipher information like private key is never exposed to a memory bus where it could be leaked or hacked, and the risk of timing-based attack is mitigated. “We are reapplying the vector instruction methodology that Cray developed for their first supercomputer nearly 50 years ago, and reapplying it to a highly efficient microprocessor architecture to accelerate encryption, codecs, and other complex algorithmic computation”, confirmed Leighton.

In silicon the RED Semiconductor’s resource-efficient architecture will allow real-time computation of the best ciphers, with future upgradability in software, combined with low power consumption. The Vantage-1 encryption accelerator processor will be targeted at applications where security or privacy of data is essential, and where cyber-attacks are most prevelant – Secure IOT, critical infrastructure, telecoms and datacoms. RED Semiconductor is meeting industry partners at the Semicon Europa conference in Munich on 15th and 16th November. For more details, please contact James Lewis, RED’s CEO at james.lewis@redsemiconductor.com.


About RED Semiconductor

RED Semiconductor’s mission is to develop and deliver a new class of microprocessor chip set optimised for vector instructions that enable complex computational routines to be performed in fewer clock cycles, with smaller binaries, and consuming less power than any existing microprocessor of comparable capability. The company is based in the United Kingdom and was formed in 2021.

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