Accelerating the Whirlpool Hash Function using parallel table lookup and fast cyclical permutation

Yedidya Hilewitz, Yiqun Lisa Yin, Ruby B. Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Hash functions are an important building block in almost all security applications. In the past few years, there have been major advances in the cryptanalysis of hash functions, especially the MDx family, and it has become important to select new hash functions for next-generation security applications. One of the potential candidates is Whirlpool, an AES-based hash function. Whirlpool adopts a very different design approach from MDx, and hence it has withstood all the latest attacks. However, its slow software performance has made it less attractive for practical use. In this paper, we present a new software implementation of Whirlpool that is significantly faster than previous ones. Our optimization leverages new ISA extensions, in particularly Parallel Table Lookup (PTLU), which has previously been proposed to accelerate block ciphers like AES and DES, multimedia and other applications. We also show a novel cyclical permutation algorithm that can concurrently convert rows of a matrix to diagonals. We obtain a speedup of 8.8× and 13.9× over a basic RISC architecture using 64-bit and 128-bit PTLU modules, respectively. This is equivalent to rates of 11.4 and 7.2 cycles/byte, respectively, which makes our Whirlpool implementation faster than the fastest published rate of 12 cycles/byte for SHA-2 in software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFast Software Encryption - 15th International Workshop, FSE 2008, Revised Selected Papers
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2008
Event15th International Workshop on Fast Software Encryption, FSE 2008 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: Feb 10 2008Feb 13 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume5086 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other15th International Workshop on Fast Software Encryption, FSE 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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