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Posted on 2004-08-31
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i want to implement symmetric key algorithm using FPGA...i want to know if rijndael can be implemented in hardware using FPGA.is it more secure than in software....what are the advantages of it implemented on hardware then in software.
which tool i should choose if i wanna go for hardware .where can i get useful material
to learn VHDL from where i can get help....sites and names of must read books.

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Question by:jul123
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by:lombardp
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by:Hammadian2
ID: 11949804
Anything can be implemented using FPGAs
using hardware is more secure coz all details are hidden inside the black box so debugging the thing trying to hack it is near impossible
however
as u'r trying to implement a symmetric key algorithm, the key is by definition private, so the one using the system (ie using the software or the hardware) is trusted
You're the one who can determine whether your code should be hidden in hardware or can be left open (for highly experienced hackers) in software

About the tool, as u'r talking about VHDL, you'll need a VHDL compiler/ burning tool and the FPGA chip itself for sure
The best VHDL compiler/simulator/burner is Altera
you can find it here:

http://www.altera.com

it's very expensive like all other simulation tools
so you'll either do it somewhere where the software exists (say in a university or something)
or look if they have a trial version

For the books
the best text book available is "VHDL made easy"

and here's a reference

http://www.openhardware.ru/books_files/Vhdl_Golden_Reference_Guide.pdf
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by:kkronyak
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If you have a fast enough interface to the device, implementing in hardware will be significantly faster than in software.  This is because with a hardware device you can potentially do in once cycle what a general-purpose processor would take tens or hundreds to do.  The first step is to find a platform (FPGA) to work from.

For FPGA or CPLD you may want to look into Xilinx.  Probably FPGA as CPLD have far fewer logic cells.  

What type of interface are you planning on using for this?  Implementing PCI will probably be very costly and difficult, though there is a PCI dev board available for Xilinx, and i believe the price is around $350.  Their software utilities are free for development, though full simulation will come at a serious price.  Info on development boards and software for Xilinx is available at www.xilinx.com .  I haven't done much work with programmable logic yet but i will in the somewhat near future.
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