Communications in Cryptology IACR CiC

Twinkle: A family of Low-latency Schemes for Authenticated Encryption and Pointer Authentication


Jianhua Wang, Tao Huang, Shuang Wu, Zilong Liu
Jianhua Wang ORCID
Shield Lab, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., China
wangjianhua at amss dot ac dot cn
Tao Huang
Shield Lab, Huawei International Pte. Ltd., Singapore
huangtao80 at huawei dot com
Shuang Wu
Shield Lab, Huawei International Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Wu dot Shuang at huawei dot com
Zilong Liu
HiSilicon Technologies Co. Ltd., China
liuzilong5 at hisilicon dot com


In this paper, we aim to explore the design of low-latency authenticated encryption schemes particularly for memory encryption, with a focus on the temporal uniqueness property. To achieve this, we present the low-latency Pseudo-Random Function (PRF) called Twinkle with an output up to 1152 bits. Leveraging only one block of Twinkle, we developed Twinkle-AE, a specialized authenticated encryption scheme with six variants covering different cache line sizes and security requirements. We also propose Twinkle-PA, a pointer authentication algorithm, which takes a 64-bit pointer and 64-bit context as input and outputs a tag of 1 to 32 bits.

We conducted thorough security evaluations of both the PRFs and these schemes, examining their robustness against various common attacks. The results of our cryptanalysis indicate that these designs successfully achieve their targeted security objectives.

Hardware implementations using the FreePDK45nm library show that Twinkle-AE achieves an encryption and authentication latency of 3.83 ns for a cache line. In comparison, AES-CTR with WC-MAC scheme and Ascon-128a achieve latencies of 9.78 ns and 27.30 ns, respectively. Moreover, Twinkle-AE is also most area-effective for the 1024-bit cache line. For the pointer authentication scheme Twinkle-PA, the latency is 2.04 ns, while QARMA-64-sigma0 has a latency of 5.57 ns.


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Submitted: 2024-04-09
Accepted: 2024-06-03
Published: 2024-07-08
How to cite

Jianhua Wang, Tao Huang, Shuang Wu, and Zilong Liu, "Twinkle: A family of Low-latency Schemes for Authenticated Encryption and Pointer Authentication," IACR Communications in Cryptology, vol. 1, no. 2, Jul 08, 2024, doi: 10.62056/a3n59qgxq.


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