I am writing a paper on reducing the power consumption of security protocols. I am having trouble identifying sources that describe real-time usage of DES and AES, and how often they are used. I plan to use such sources for the 'motivation' part of my paper - explaining why power consumption is important. I know AES and DES are used for encryption widely, but I need to site it which I can't because I couldn't find any sources.

I tried to google for details but couldn't get any good results. I need sources which I can cite.

Please help if anyone knows about it or point me in a direction where I might get the result.

Thanks in advance

closed as off-topic by Xander, mgjk, Gilles, TildalWave, Mark Nov 15 '14 at 1:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Information security within the scope defined in the help center." – Xander, mgjk, Mark
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Your question needs improvement. You didn't specify the key length of AES you're interested in. Power consumption is based on the specific implementation on a specific platform. Where they are used is very implementation specific; but consider that TLS/SSL will likely use AES first, so a lot of https web traffic uses it. And DES is essentially dead, implementations that used to use it have migrated to 3DES. Be more clear, and fix your question please. – John Deters Nov 14 '14 at 19:09
  • @JohnDeters I am sorry, I couldn't ask the question properly. I made an edit. Please help me if you can – raghu Nov 14 '14 at 20:45
  • Much better! You'll get a good answer now. – John Deters Nov 15 '14 at 1:09
  • I posted this question here because AES and DES are encryption algorithms and come under network security and cryptography. As per the topics in help center, using cryptography; what kind of cryptographic methods are used to encrypt data which are AES and DES and where are they used in real world. – raghu Nov 15 '14 at 22:11
  • You're not asking about encryption, but about power consumption. That's not something we will typically have knowledge of. You'd need to ask hardware folks about this sort of thing. "Power consumption" is a function of CPU and memory load. That's where you'll want to look. – schroeder Nov 16 '14 at 23:39

In computing, Real-Time means the study of systems that must operate within strict time constraints. This is a very large class of systems, and it tends to include most applications with a user interface. For instance, if you go to Youtube and view a video, then this is a real-time application: the downloading, decompression and display of the pictures must happen at a strict schedule so that the movements are smooth and kept in synch with the audio.

From your expressed concern about power consumption, I surmise that you do not really mean "real-time"; rather, you want to know about embedded systems, another very large class of systems. Power consumption is most relevant for systems that must operate over a battery, so in particular portable devices.

The list of devices that use encryption is open-ended, so you cannot gather them all. However, one can remark that any system that engages in SSL/TLS will use one of the encryption systems that are supported in that protocol; this will most of the time be AES, 3DES or RC4. Among systems that do not use one of these three algorithms, the most notable are GSM phones; older protocol versions (2G) used A5/1, a custom stream cipher; newer versions (3G/UMTS) rely on KASUMI. An important point for the discussion at hand is that while A5/1 was designed for very low power consumption and easy hardware implementation, KASUMI is much more "software-like" in design, which means that for phones that support 3G, the encryption system has become quite negligible in the overall power consumption. Indeed, any smartphone will routinely engage in Web traffic, and this includes HTTPS, hence SSL, hence AES/3DES/RC4.

In any case, power consumption depends a lot on the implementation technology, so there cannot be any absolute answer; moreover, any comparison becomes obsolete after a few years, as technology evolves.

This article describes a comparison of various "lightweight" block ciphers, focusing on energy consumption in dedicated hardware platforms (i.e. custom ASIC). This should give you pointers, and accepted terminology for further Google-based searches.

  • That was great. It gave me an idea to look into and the article you suggested is really good and it helped me with my further research. I edited my question. Please look into that and if you can suggest me something else, that would be great. thank you very much – raghu Nov 14 '14 at 20:42

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