Igor Semenov

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Aleksandar Milenković

Committee Member

David Coe

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kulick


Data encryption (Computer science), Telecommunication--Security measures., Computer security.


An increased reliance on services offered online is an inherent aspect of the Information Age. Such services often handle sensitive customers' data and therefore must ensure its confidentiality, for example, by using cryptographic algorithms. Some algorithms, such as AES, have long been used for this purpose, but they impose additional cost and/or performance overheads. However, new lightweight stream cyphers, such as ChaCha20, are emerging as a faster alternative to conventional algorithms without sacrificing the security. Development of hardware cryptographic accelerators has been widely used to reduce performance overheads of cryptographic algorithms. In the past, this approach was extremely expensive, but nowadays, widely available all programmable SoCs make it more affordable. In this thesis, we present an IP-core for ChaCha20 acceleration in a low-cost all-programmable SoC, Cyclone V. We describe the design of our core, consisting of a ChaCha20 accelerator and a custom DMA. We also present a software framework that employs multiple CPU cores or hardware accelerators for file encryption. We explore different configurations of this framework in order to find the optimal one. Our experiments show that two accelerators clocked at 50 MHz working concurrently provide the throughput of 120.5 MiB/s, a five-fold throughput improvement over the baseline software file encryption executed on two ARM Cortex-A9 processor cores running at 800 MHz.



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