The last 30 years have seen an increase in the complexity of embedded systems from a collection of simple circuits to systems consisting of multiple processors managing a wide variety of devices. This ever increasing complexity frequently requires that high assurance, fail-safe and secure design techniques be applied to protect against possible failures and breaches. To facilitate the implementation of these embedded systems in an efficient way, the FPGA industry recently created new families of devices. New features added to these devices include anti-tamper monitoring, bit stream encryption, and optimized routing architectures for physical and functional logic partition isolation. These devices have high capacities and are capable of implementing processors using their reprogrammable logic structures. This allows for an unprecedented level of hardware and software interaction within a single FPGA chip. High assurance and fail-safe systems can now be implemented within the reconfigurable hardware fabric of an FPGA, enabling these systems to maintain flexibility and achieve high performance while providing a high level of data security. The objective of this thesis was to design and analyze an FPGA-based system containing two isolated, softcore Nios processors that share data through two crypto-engines. FPGA-based single-chip cryptographic (SCC) techniques were employed to ensure proper component isolation when the design is placed on a device supporting the appropriate security primitives. Each crypto-engine is an implementation of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), operating in Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) for both encryption and authentication. The features of the microprocessors and architectures of the AES crypto-engines were varied with the goal of determining combinations which best target high performance, minimal hardware usage, or a combination of the two.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer security; Cryptography--Research; Field-programmable gate arrays; Multiprocessors--Design and construction

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


Łukowiak, Marcin


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: QA76.9.A25 F48 2010


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