Design of an area efficient crypto processor for 3GPP-LTE NB-IoT devices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Providing information security is crucial for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, platforms in which the available power budget is very limited. This paper tackles this challenge and presents a cryptographic processor compliant with the security algorithms specified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) standard. The proposed processor has been optimized to the needs of the low end portfolio technologies that compose the IoT market, which addresses low-area, low-cost and low-data rate applications. Operation analysis at the algorithm-level and hardware sharing at the architecture-level have enabled extensive area reduction. The cryptographic processor has been described using the High-Level Synthesis (HLS) design flow and integrated with a general purpose processor in a cycle accurate virtual platform. The design achieves a reduction of area ranging from 5% to 42% in comparison to similar work. Synthesis results using a 65-nm CMOS technology show that the processor has a hardware cost of 53.6 kGE, and is capable of performing at 52.4 Mbps for the block cipher and 800 Mbps for the stream cipher algorithms at a 100 MHz clock.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Communication Systems


  • 3G, AES, confidentiality, cryptography, high level synthesis, integrated circuits, integrity, low power, NB-IoT, processor, Snow, Zuc
Original languageEnglish
Article number102899
JournalMicroprocessors and Microsystems
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch