The University of Sheffield
Electronic and Electrical Engineering

European Stream Ciphers Are Ready to GO

close up of the eSCARGO chip

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The EU under the Information Societies Technology (IST) initiative had funded a network of excellence for cipher development, ECRYPT. As part of this a project, eSTREAM, aims to identify a new stream cipher for wide spread adoption. The call made provision for two profiles, one for 128-bit software oriented ciphers and a second for 80-bit hardware ciphers.

One aspect is the development and performance assessment of suitable hardware designs which implement each of the candidate cipher primitives. The University of Sheffield has contributed to this effort, through the State of the Art in Stream Ciphers (SASC) conferences, as an independent hardware performance evaluator.

The key contributions by T. Good and M. Benaissa to date have been papers describing the hardware performance of the "free-for-all" ciphers which appear amenable to hardware design. The SASC2008 paper, includes the whole of the phase-III hardware profile together with 128-bit variants of ciphers in the hardware profile.

There has been little published on the side-channel attacks such as differential power analysis, differential EM-analysis and fault injection techniques specific to these stream ciphers. To assist this effort, prototype quantities of an ASIC containing all the phase-III hardware candidates has been designed and fabricated on 0.18um CMOS. All the designs share use a common synchronous serial interface (including handshaking) with multiplexers and clock-gating to select the cipher for testing.

Funding for the production and packaging costs of this chip has been provided by ECRYPT which permits samples to be offered free of charge to groups with a recognised capability for side-channel analysis. The intention is for such results to be published to further the state-of-the-art for stream cipher development.

The chip has been fabricated, packaged and tested. It contains a total of 15-designs as below:

  1. Moustique
  2. Edon80
  3. Trivium
  4. Decim80
  5. Decim128
  6. F-fcsr-h
  7. F-fcsr-16
  8. Grain80
  9. Grain128
  10. Mickey80
  11. Mickey128
  12. Pomaranch80
  13. Pomaranch128
  14. Grain80 (x8 internally)
  15. Trivium (x8 internally)


Both the preliminary short-form and full datasheets are available for download in the boxes to the right of this page. Please consult the datasheet before powering the devices.

Application procedure

There are still some devices available, interested research groups are advised to apply using the application form on this website. This is the only mechanism by which applications will be considered. The application process will be left open until supplies are exhausted.

Application form