Fast implementation of NIST p-256 elliptic curve cryptography on 8-bit AVR processor

Dong Won Park, Nam Su Chang, Sangyub Lee, Seokhie Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a highly optimized implementation of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) over NIST P-256 curve for an 8-bit AVR microcontroller. For improving the performance of ECC implementation, we focus on optimizing field arithmetics. In particular, we optimize the modular multiplication and squaring method exploiting the state-of-the-art optimization technique, namely range shifted representation (RSR). With optimized field arithmetics, we significantly improve the performance of scalar multiplication and set the speed record for execution time of variable base scalar multiplication over NIST P-256 curve. When compared with previous works, we achieve a performance gain of 17.3% over the best previous result on the same platform. Moreover, the execution time of our result is even faster than that over the NIST P-192 curve of the well-known TinyECC library. Our result shows that RSR can be applied to all field arithmetics and evaluate the impact of the adoption of RSR over the performance of scalar multiplication. Additionally, our implementation provides a high degree of regularity to withstand side-channel attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8816
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 8-bit AVR microcontroller
  • Elliptic curve cryptography
  • NIST curves
  • Software implementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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