[E-Lang] Re: [EROS-Arch] Liquid software requirements.
Mark S. Miller
Sun, 31 Dec 2000 23:18:42 -0800
I think Jonathan wrote:
>> In the OS context, this has a further avantage. If the
>> encryption can be
>> pushed down to the link layer in the communications system, it can
>> frequently be offloaded to hardware, at which point we cease
>> to care very
>> much about its computatoinal cost.
For single key operations, which is what would apply here, offloading them
to separate hardware makes very poor use of both pieces of hardware. If
you've got separate hardware, use it for something that's either
computationally intensive or has special needs. Single key crypto is
neither. It would be only a little less plausible to imagine special
purpose hardware for lowercasing strings of characters.
For PK operations, it would indeed be very cool to have special hardware for
doing modular exponentiation of large integers. I remember a chip design
for this by Rivest et al from about 15 years ago. Has anything happened
with this idea? Will elliptic curves make this issue irrelevant?
AFAIK, the only compelling needs for special purpose hardware are good
entropy and TEMPEST shielding. (And Opaque Boxes as well, if you're into
that sort of thing.)