Memristor-Based Lightweight Encryption

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Abstract

Next-generation personalized healthcare devices are undergoing extreme miniaturization in order to improve user acceptability. However, such developments make it difficult to incorporate cryptographic primitives using available target tech-nologies since these algorithms are notorious for their energy consumption. Besides, strengthening these schemes against side-channel attacks further adds to the device overheads. Therefore, viable alternatives among emerging technologies are being sought. In this work, we investigate the possibility of using memristors for implementing lightweight encryption. We propose a 40-nm RRAM-based GIFT-cipher implementation using a 1TIR configuration with promising results; it exhibits roughly half the energy consumption of a CMOS-only implementation. More importantly, its non-volatile and reconfigurable substitution boxes offer an energy-efficient protection mechanism against side-channel attacks. The complete cipher takes 0.0034 mm2of area, and encrypting a 128-bit block consumes a mere 242 pJ.