Edge Crypt-Pi: Securing Internet of Things with Light and Fast Crypto-Processor

Mohamed El-Hadedy, Xinfei Guo, Kevin Skadron, Wen Mei Hwu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the IoT and edge computing landscape, security has increasingly become one of the critical design considerations. Due to that most of these devices have very strict power and area budget, a compact and low power crypto unit is required. ARX (Addition, Rotation, XOR) based cryptographic primitives have been demonstrated as being fast yet small in terms of the hardware cost, thus it can be a perfect candidate to be integrated as part of a IoT system. In this paper, we propose a light and fast generic ARX crypto-processor named “Edge Crypt-Pi”, whose inherent algorithm is based on pi-Cipher. It is a nonce-based authenticated encryption cipher with associated data. The proposed crypto-process includes works in the following – the security of the pi-Cipher relies on an pi-function, which is an ARX based permutation function; the message blocks perform independent processes, which provides great parallelism and incrementally; An ordinal number of the messages blocks, along with a publicly-known nonce behave as important mechanisms to enable the protections against forgeries. Edge Crypt-Pi has been evaluated in a 28/32 nm technology with ASIC design flow. Post-place & route results demonstrate that the are of the 16-bit version is only and the maximum frequency is 1.33 GHz, and the total power is only 13 mW at nominal voltage. When it is configured to 64-bit, the maximum frequency stays unchanged, and the area increases to and the total power is around 49.5 mW. The proposed design can thus support a variety of crypto-ARX primitives because of its compactness and low-power consumption. With a Nickel Cadmium battery (1800 mAh capacity at 1.2 V), the 16-bit proposed processor version will last 4.545 days without going idle for any instance of time, and this makes it suitable to support a wider range of IoT applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Future Technologies Conference, FTC 2020, Volume 3
EditorsKohei Arai, Supriya Kapoor, Rahul Bhatia
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030630911
StatePublished - 2021
EventFuture Technologies Conference, FTC 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2020Nov 6 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


ConferenceFuture Technologies Conference, FTC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • ASIC
  • Cipher
  • Crypt-Pi
  • Edge computing
  • IoT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Edge Crypt-Pi: Securing Internet of Things with Light and Fast Crypto-Processor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this