Quantum-Proof Lightweight McEliece Cryptosystem Co-processor Design

Rashmi Agrawal, Lake Bu, Michel A. Kinsy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Due to the rapid advances in the development of quantum computers and their susceptibility to errors, there is a renewed interest in error correction algorithms. In particular, error correcting code-based cryptosystems have reemerged as a highly desirable coding technique. This is due to the fact that most classical asymmetric cryptosystems will fail in the quantum computing era. However, code-based cryptosystems are still secure against quantum computers, since the decoding of linear codes remains NP-hard even on these computing systems. One such code-based cryptosystem was proposed by McEliece. The classic McEliece cryptosystem uses binary Goppa code, which is known for its good code rate and error correction capability. However, its key generation and decoding procedures have a high computation complexity. In this work, we propose the design of a public-key encryption and decryption coprocessor based on a new variant of the McEliece cryptosystem. This co-processor takes advantage of non-binary Orthogonal Latin Square Code to achieve much smaller computation complexity and key size. We also propose a hardware-cost efficient, fully-parameterized FPGA-based implementation of the co-processor to perform fast encoding and decoding operations. When compared to an existing classic McEliece cryptosystem, we observe a speed up of about 3.3 ×.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2020 IEEE 38th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728197104
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event38th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2020 - Hartford, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2020Oct 21 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Computer Design: VLSI in Computers and Processors
ISSN (Print)1063-6404


Conference38th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Code-based post-quantum cryptosystem
  • McEliece public-key encryption
  • Orthogonal Latin Square Codes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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