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Research Roadmap

PQC Hardware

Challenges

Since quantum-resistant cryptography is being standardized very soon, a vast demand for a wide variety of specialized PQC hardware covering the entire bandwidth of FPGA, SoC, and ASICs is anticipated. However, research into PQC hardware is currently still much more limited than for software, especially concerning implementations hardened against side channel and fault attacks. While software implementations of post-quantum cryptography have received a lot of attention from the research community over the last decade, research on the best techniques for implementing PQC in hardware has been much more limited. This is likely due to the much higher effort and cost of equipment needed for creating such implementations. However, as the world migrates to quantum-resistant cryptography, there is inevitably a need for efficient hardware implementations (FPGA, SoC, and ASIC) of all major PQC schemes.

Mission

Chelpis advances the state of the art of PQC hardware and helps researchers worldwide to access Taiwan’s unique semiconductor ecosystem as the short term mission.

In the long term, Chelpis is leveraging Taiwan’s unique semiconductor industry to facilitate the research of hardware implementations of quantum-resistant cryptography. Our mission is to work with researchers around the world and ease their access to the hardware ecosystem in Taiwan. 

Goal

Chelpis plans to contribute to the advancement of PQC hardware in two ways: Firstly, researchers at Chelpis are working on highly efficient and cost-effective implementations of PQC that we intend to publish at top-tier cryptography conferences. Secondly, Chelpis aims to collaborate with research groups worldwide to allow them easier access to Taiwan’s unique semiconductor ecosystem.

Formally Verified PQC Software

Challenges

Cryptographic software developed using traditional software development methods often fails due to implementation insecurity, leading to devastating security breaches. The migration to next-generation PQC software libraries presents a unique opportunity to switch from traditional implementations to implementations proven correct using formal methods. Years of experience have shown that relying solely on extensive testing and code audit is insufficient for ensuring the correctness of security-critical cryptographic code. This is especially true for algorithms operating on complex mathematical structures used in modern public-key cryptography, including quantum-resistant cryptography. Incorrect implementations of these algorithms can render them ineffective in protecting user data, as demonstrated by decades of vulnerabilities and their devastating consequences for billions of people. Therefore, the inevitable shift to next-generation PQC software libraries offers a chance to embrace implementations that have been rigorously verified using formal methods, mitigating the risks associated with implementation mistakes and enhancing the overall security of cryptographic systems.

Mission

At QSMC, we work on new techniques allowing formally proving the correctness of implementations of quantum-resistant cryptography, meanwhile, we are collaborating with leading researchers in Taiwan and worldwide to advance formally verified quantum-resistant software.

Goal

QSMC aims to help prevent such disasters in the future by moving to the next generation of tools for ensuring the correctness of software using formal methods. This advanced technology results in formal guarantees of the correctness of cryptographic code. As this is a vast one-time effort, we plan to collaborate with researchers in Taiwan and around the world to produce a formally verified software library that is openly available to everyone.

New PQC Primitives

Challenges

While the first quantum-resistant cryptographic schemes have reached enough maturity to be standardized and deployed in practice, it is still essential to research alternative cryptographic schemes potentially offering smaller key sizes, better computational performance, better properties for implementations protected against physical attacks, or a more conservative security foundation.

Mission

At QSMC we investigate alternatives to current quantum-resistant

cryptographic schemes that outperform existing schemes for certain applications. This covers code-based, multivariate-based, and isogeny based cryptography.

Goal

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently selected a portfolio of quantum-resistant key-encapsulation mechanisms and digital signatures based on hard lattice problems and cryptographic hashes. While those schemes provide reasonable functionality and performance for many use cases they do not present a silver bullet for each and every application. For some use cases, it is desirable to have digital signatures with much smaller signature sizes than the existing schemes, as well as key-encapsulation mechanisms with much smaller ciphertexts. Due to this need for additional quantum-resistant schemes, researchers are looking into alternatives to the lattice-based and hash-based schemes. Particularly, the research community is looking into code-based, multivariate-based, and isogeny-based cryptography. To catalyze this research effort, NIST is running a competition for evaluating promising candidates over the next years to select and standardize further schemes later. Chelpis is supporting this effort both by evaluating the candidates submitted to NIST as well as being part of the submission teams of two promising candidates for digital signatures based on multivariate equations (UOV and MAYO).

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