RECO-HCON: A High-Throughput Reconfigurable Compact ASCON Processor for Trusted IoT

Xiangdong Wei, Mohamed El-Hadedy, Sergiu Mosanu, Zhengping Zhu, Wen Mei Hwu, Xinfei Guo

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


Statistics show that in 2030 the number of connected IoT devices will reach 25.44 billion, which can lead to the security breach in the back-end of high-performance computing clusters connected with the same network. Unfortunately, the current security primitives are not suitable algorithms to be implemented on physically constrained devices designed for IoT. Thus, the National Institute of Standard and Technology has announced a worldwide lightweight cryptographic competition (LWC) for securing tiny devices. This paper introduces a flexible, reconfigurable, and energy-efficient crypto-processor running one of the LWC finalist candidates - ASCON, which uses sponge construction that has fewer memory accesses that leads to less power consumption compared to other ones. The proposed processor is reconfigurable in a way both authenticated cipher (Encryption/decryption processes) and hash functions of ASCON are implemented in a six-mode compact fashion, covering a diversity of applications in the IoT spectrum. The design is developed in Chisel and evaluated in 28/32nm technology with commercial EDA tools. Evaluation results show that the proposed processor achieves the highest throughput while consuming 29% less power, operating at over 667 MHz. The design has also been implemented in Skywater 130nm technology node with the latest released OpenLane design flow to ensure an end-to-end open-source delivery of the IP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE 35th International System-on-Chip Conference, SOCC 2022
EditorsSakir Sezer, Thomas Buchner, Jurgen Becker, Andrew Marshall, Fahad Siddiqui, Tanja Harbaum, Kieran McLaughlin
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781665459853
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event35th IEEE International System-on-Chip Conference, SOCC 2022 - Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 5 2022Sep 8 2022

Publication series

NameInternational System on Chip Conference
ISSN (Print)2164-1676
ISSN (Electronic)2164-1706


Conference35th IEEE International System-on-Chip Conference, SOCC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast, Northern Ireland


  • ASIC
  • FPGA
  • LWC
  • Reconfigurable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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