Cryptography in Software or Hardware - It Depends on the Need

By: Yann Loisel

Abstract: As the length of software keys increases to accommodate evolving needs for greater security, so the marketplace demands a wider variety of cryptographic implementations. With recent improvements in core design and frequency performance, designers are now asking whether customized IP blocks are still needed for these secure algorithms. In short, can a designer use a generic core in the hardware to save space and cost, and embed the cryptographic algorithms in software? The answer is simple—well, not so simple—it depends on the need.