An Estimator for the ASIC Footprint Area of Lightweight Cryptographic Algorithms Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2014

start page

  • 1216

end page

  • 1225


  • 2


  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1551-3203

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-0050


  • In resource-constrained devices such as RFID tags or implantable medical devices, algorithm designers need to make careful choices to ensure that their proposals are sufficiently efficient for the target platform. A common way of expressing such restrictions is in terms of an upper bound for the maximum available footprint area in gate equivalents (GE). For example, RFID tags conforming to standards EPC Class-1 Generation-2 and ISO/IEC 18000-6C can devote up to 4K GE to security functions. However, in most cases, algorithm designers are not hardware experts, nor they have any quantitative means to find out how much area their designs would occupy in a given technology. In this paper, we attempt to fill this gap by providing an estimate of the upper bound for the footprint area of any algorithm. Our approach takes into account the main components of such algorithms, namely, basic arithmetic/logic operations and additional hardware such as registers and multiplexers. We believe that our proposal can help designers in making informed decisions about what kind of algorithmic structures can be afforded for a target environment.


  • asic implementations; footprint area; lightweight algorithms; radio frequency identification (rfid); vhdl; authentication protocols; performance analysis; rfid authentication; systems; tags; design