International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Qun Liu


New SAT-based Model for Quantum Circuit Decision Problem: Searching for Low-Cost Quantum Implementation
<p>In recent years, quantum technology has been rapidly developed. As security analyses for symmetric ciphers continue to emerge, many require an evaluation of the resources needed for the quantum circuit implementation of the encryption algorithm. In this regard, we propose the quantum circuit decision problem, which requires us to determine whether there exists a quantum circuit for a given permutation f using M ancilla qubits and no more than K quantum gates within the circuit depth D. Firstly, we investigate heuristic algorithms and classical SAT-based models in previous works, revealing their limitations in solving the problem. Hence, we innovatively propose an improved SAT-based model incorporating three metrics of quantum circuits. The model enables us to find the optimal quantum circuit of an arbitrary 3 or 4-bit S-box under a given optimization goal based on SAT solvers, which has proved the optimality of circuits constructed by the tool, LIGHTER-R. Then, by combining different criteria in the model, we find more compact quantum circuit implementations of S-boxes such as RECTANGLE and GIFT. For GIFT S-box, our model provides the optimal quantum circuit that only requires 8 gates with a depth of 31. Furthermore, our model can be generalized to linear layers and improve the previous SAT-based model proposed by Huang et al. in ASIACRYPT 2022 by adding the criteria on the number of qubits and the circuit depth.</p>
Improved Quantum Circuits for AES: Reducing the Depth and the Number of Qubits
Quantum computers hold the potential to solve problems that are intractable for classical computers, thereby driving increased interest in the development of new cryptanalytic ciphers. In NIST's post-quantum standardization process, the security categories are defined by the costs of quantum key search against AES. However, the cost estimates provided by Grassl et al. for the search are high. NIST has acknowledged that these initial classifications should be approached cautiously, since the costs of the most advanced attacks can be significantly reduced. Therefore, accurate resource estimations are crucial for evaluating the security of ciphers against quantum adversaries. This paper presents a set of generic techniques for implementing AES quantum oracles, which are essential for quantum attacks such as Grover's algorithms. Firstly, we introduce the mixing-XOR technique to reuse the ancilla qubits. At ASIACRYPT 2022, Huang et al. proposed an S-box structure with 120 ancilla qubits. We are able to reduce the number of ancilla qubits to 83 without increasing the T-depth. Secondly, we propose the combined pipeline architecture with the share technique to combine the S-box and its reverse, which achieves it with only 98 ancilla qubits, resulting in a significant reduction of 59% compared to the independent structure. Thirdly, we use a general algorithm to determine the depth of quantum circuits, searching for the in-place circuit of AES MixColumns with depth 16. Applying these improvements, we achieve the lower quantum depth of AES circuits, obtaining more precise resource estimates for Grover's algorithm. For AES-128, -192, and -256, we only require the depth of 730, 876, and 1,018, respectively. Recently, the community has also focused on the trade-off of the time and space cost of quantum circuits for AES. In this regard, we present quantum implementations of AES circuits with a lower DW-cost on the zig-zag architecture. Compared with the circuit proposed by Huang et al., the DW-cost is reduced by 35%.
Towards Low-Latency Implementation of Linear Layers 📺
Lightweight cryptography features a small footprint and/or low computational complexity. Low-cost implementations of linear layers usually play an important role in lightweight cryptography. Although it has been shown by Boyar et al. that finding the optimal implementation of a linear layer is a Shortest Linear Program (SLP) problem and NP-hard, there exist a variety of heuristic methods to search for near-optimal solutions. This paper considers the low-latency criteria and focuses on the heuristic search of lightweight implementation for linear layers. Most of the prior approach iteratively combines the inputs (of linear layers) to reach the output, which can be regarded as the forward search. To better adapt the low-latency criteria, we propose a new framework of backward search that attempts to iteratively split every output (into an XORing of two bits) until all inputs appear. By bounding the time of splitting, the new framework can find a sub-optimal solution with a minimized depth of circuits.We apply our new search algorithm to linear layers of block ciphers and find many low-latency candidates for implementations. Notably, for AES Mixcolumns, we provide an implementation with 103 XOR gates with a depth of 3, which is among the best hardware implementations of the AES linear layer. Besides, we obtain better implementations in XOR gates for 54.3% of 4256 Maximum Distance Separable (MDS) matrices proposed by Li et al. at FSE 2019. We also achieve an involutory MDS matrix (in M4(GL(8, F2))) whose implementation uses the lowest number (i.e., 86, saving 2 from the state-of-the-art result) of XORs with the minimum depth.
More Inputs Makes Difference: Implementations of Linear Layers Using Gates with More Than Two Inputs
Lightweight cryptography ensures cryptography applications to devices with limited resources. Low-area implementations of linear layers usually play an essential role in lightweight cryptography. The previous works have provided plenty of methods to generate low-area implementations using 2-input xor gates for various linear layers. However, it is still challenging to search for smaller implementations using two or more inputs xor gates. This paper, inspired by Banik et al., proposes a novel approach to construct a quantity of lower area implementations with (n + 1)- input gates based on the given implementations with n-input gates. Based on the novel algorithm, we present the corresponding search algorithms for n = 2 and n = 3, which means that we can efficiently convert an implementation with 2-input xor gates and 3-input xor gates to lower-area implementations with 3-input xor gates and 4-input xor gates, respectively.We improve the previous implementations of linear layers for many block ciphers according to the area with these search algorithms. For example, we achieve a better implementation with 4-input xor gates for AES MixColumns, which only requires 243 GE in the STM 130 nm library, while the previous public result is 258.9 GE. Besides, we obtain better implementations for all 5500 lightweight matrices proposed by Li et al. at FSE 2019, and the area for them is decreased by about 21% on average.