Exploiting the Power of GPUs for Asymmetric Cryptography

Robert Szerwinski, Tim Guneysu
Horst Gortz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
In Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES 2008) (August 2008), pp. 79-99


   title={Exploiting the power of GPUs for asymmetric cryptography},

   author={Szerwinski, R. and G{\”u}neysu, T.},

   journal={Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems–CHES 2008},





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Modern Graphics Processing Units (GPU) have reached a dimension with respect to performance and gate count exceeding conventional Central Processing Units (CPU) by far. Many modern computer systems include – beside a CPU – such a powerful GPU which runs idle most of the time and might be used as cheap and instantly available co-processor for general purpose applications. In this contribution, we focus on the efficient realisation of the computationally expensive operations in asymmetric cryptosystems on such off-the-shelf GPUs. More precisely, we present improved and novel implementations employing GPUs as accelerator for RSA and DSA cryptosystems as well as for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). Using a recent Nvidia 8800GTS graphics card, we are able to compute 813 modular exponentiations per second for RSA or DSA-based systems with 1024 bit integers. Moreover, our design for ECC over the prime field P-224 even achieves the throughput of 1412 point multiplications per second.
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