TinyECCK: Efficient elliptic curve cryptography implementation over GF(2m) on 8-bit micaz mote

Seog Chung Seo, Dong Guk Han, Hyung Chan Kim, Seokhie Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we revisit a generally accepted opinion: implementing Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem (ECC) over GF(2m) on sensor motes using small word size is not appropriate because XOR multiplication over GF(2 m) is not efficiently supported by current low-powered microprocessors. Although there are some implementations over GF(2m) on sensor motes, their performances are not satisfactory enough to be used for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). We have found that a field multiplication over GF(2m) are involved in a number of redundant memory accesses and its inefficiency is originated from this problem. Moreover, the field reduction process also requires many redundant memory accesses. Therefore, we propose some techniques for reducing unnecessary memory accesses. With the proposed strategies, the running time of field multiplication and reduction over GF(2163) can be decreased by 21.1% and 24.7%, respectively. These savings noticeably decrease execution times spent in Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) operations (signing and verification) by around 15-19%. We present TinyECCK (Tiny Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem with Koblitz curve - a kind of TinyOS package supporting elliptic curve operations) which is the first implementation of Koblitz curve on sensor motes as far as we know. Through comparisons with existing software implementations of ECC built in C or hybrid of C and inline assembly on sensor motes, we show that TinyECCK outperforms them in terms of running time, code size and supporting services. Furthermore, we show that a field multiplication over GF(2m) can be faster than that over GF(p) on 8-bit Atmega128 processor by comparing TinyECCK with TinyECC, a well-known ECC implementation over GF(p). TinyECCK with sect163k1 can generate a signature and verify it in 1.37 and 2.32 secs on aMicaz mote with 13,748-byte of ROM and 1,004-byte of RAM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1347
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May


  • Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem
  • Koblitz curve
  • TinyOS
  • Wireless sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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