Accelerating the Whirlpool Hash Function Using Parallel Table Lookup and Fast Cyclical Permutation


Proceedings of the 15th Fast Software Encryption Workshop (FSE), Lausanne, Switzerland (2008)


Hash functions are an important building block in almost all security applications. In the past few years, there have been major advances in the cryptanalysis of hash functions, especially the MDx family, and it has become important to select new hash functions for next-generation security applications. One of the potential candidates is Whirlpool, an AES-based hash function. Whirlpool adopts a very different design approach from MDx, and hence it has withstood all the latest attacks. However, its slow software performance has made it less attractive for practical use. In this paper, we present a new software implementation of Whirlpool that is significantly faster than previous ones. Our optimization leverages new ISA extensions, in particularly Parallel Table Lookup (PTLU), which has previously been proposed to accelerate block ciphers like AES and DES, multimedia and other applications. We also show a novel cyclical permutation algorithm that can concurrently convert rows of a matrix to diagonals. We obtain a speedup of 8.8x and 13.9x over a basic RISC architecture using 64-bit and 128-bit PTLU modules, respectively. This is equivalent to rates of 11.4 and 7.2 cycles/byte, respectively, which makes our Whirlpool implementation faster than the fastest published rate of 12 cycles/byte for SHA-2 in software.

hilewitz_fse08.pdf488.41 KB