Cryptographic IP makes Car2x communications faster

Cryptographic IP makes Car2x communications faster

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

EnSilica’s eSi-ECDSA cryptographic IP is compliant with the IEEE 1609.2 and ETSI TS 103 97 standards. These standards define the security layers in the Car2x communication protocols where cryptographic algorithms are the primary tools used to safeguard against information security risks such as message confidentiality, integrity, availability and authenticity. In particular, the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) is specified for message authentication, the Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) for asymmetric encryption and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for symmetric encryption.


The IP is an ASIC acceleration core designed to deliver the high level of message-signature verifications required by Car2x ECDSA message authentication, where practical requirements range between 400 to 4000 verifications per second depending on the message beaconing rate (1Hz to 10Hz) and expected worst case vehicle densities on the road. This overcomes the slow verification rates of traditional embedded software cryptographic algorithm implementations which typically only deliver message-signature verifications in the order of 10’s per second. eSi-ECDSA achieves this by off-loading the ECDSA signing and verification operations so that the processor is only required to load and read back results via an APB or AHB interface.


In addition, the eSi-ECDSA core features a range of lower level ECC operations which allow the acceleration of ECIES asymmetric encryption, flexible real-time key selection, support for all commonly standardized curves (such as NIST, SEC2 and Brainpool), and resistance against timing/power analysis attacks.


According to EnSilica CEO Ian Lankshear, the performance demands being placed on the prescribed cryptographic algorithms far outweigh the capabilities of traditional embedded software implementations. Being an ASIC that off-loads the arithmetic intensive tasks from the main processor, the eSi-ECDSA “easily” meet the practical performance requirements demanded by Car2x message authentication.


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