Small-footprint implementations of the advanced encryption standard (AES) algorithm are of interest in resource-constrained applications like Internet of Things (IoT). Symmetries in AES allow the data path to be scaled down to the S-Box width of 8 bits, but the Shift Rows operation leads to a potential data hazard that must be avoided. The common method for resolving the Shift Rows hazard wastes power by moving data through a sequence of pipelined registers. We present in this article a novel 8-bit AES architecture that solves data movement inefficiencies by renaming registers and saves clock power with a single state update per AES round. We then extend register renaming to include micro architectural randomization to mitigate susceptibility to side-channel attacks, which are a concern especially for low power implementations of AES. We fabricate and evaluate our designs in a commercial 16-nm Fin FET technology. Test chip measurements show that the register renaming architecture encrypts data at 0.55 pJ/bit at nominal voltage, a 2.2× improvement over a state-of-the-art reference 8-bit design implemented in the same technology. Side-channel evaluation indicates that the randomized variant of register renaming significantly reduces vulnerability to differential power analysis (DPA).
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Efficient Register Renaming Architectures for 8-bit AES Datapath at 0.55 pJ/bit in 16-nm FinFET