Improving the throughput of the AES algorithm with multicore processors

A. Barnes, R. Fernando, K. Mettananda, R. G. Ragel

AES, Advanced Encryption Standard, can be considered the most widely used modern symmetric key encryption standard. To encrypt/decrypt a file using the AES algorithm, the file must undergo a set of complex computational steps. Therefore a software implementation of AES algorithm would be slow and consume large amount of time to complete. The immense increase of both stored and transferred data in the recent years had made this problem even more daunting when the need to encrypt/decrypt such data arises. As a solution to this problem, in this paper, we present an extensive study of enhancing the throughput of AES encryption algorithm by utilizing the state of the art multicore architectures. We take a sequential program that implements the AES algorithm and convert the same to run on multicore architectures with minimum effort. We implement two different parallel programmes, one with the fork system call in Linux and the other with the pthreads, the POSIX standard for threads. Later, we ran both the versions of the parallel programs on different multicore architectures and compared and analysed the throughputs between the implementations and among different architectures. The pthreads implementation outperformed in all the experiments we conducted and the best throughput obtained is around 7Gbps on a 32-core processor (the largest number of cores we had) with the pthreads implementation.

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