Encryption and decryption algorithms are used in many fields where security of transferred data is required. It assures safety of individuals, groups and countries. New cryptographic algorithms such as AES and DES are more and more compute intensive.
Security has become one of the critical factors in embedded designs, especially in the applications of Internet-of-Things (IoT) or Industry 4.0. Sensitive telemetric data are sent from the field of operation to the Cloud for further processing. The wireless channels are often used due to environmental conditions and mobility, but they are much more vulnerable to hacking attacks. So, the gateway device which collects data and transfers them to the Cloud should provide encryption and decryption algorithms.
FPGA integrated with the processing system as in Xilinx Zynq devices is a convenient platform to implement hardware accelerator of cryptographic algorithm which can be additionally customized (thus safer) and won’t overload embedded processor free to execute other programs simultaneously. Based on Zynq devices Aldec provides the TySOM product line for embedded applications including Embedded HPC.
To demonstrate the power of FPGA in the cryptography and IoT application we have created a demo design of a gateway device with the AES encryption algorithm implemented in FPGA and used to secure the data transferred outside via the WiFi interface. Data collected from various sensors and aggregated by the ARM Processing System are then AES-encrypted before being exposed in the WiFi interface. The receiving device can then decode data with the private key stored locally. This demo can be used as a reference design and the base for further customizations and implementations.