IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI), Limassol, Cyprus, July 6-8, 2020
Network-on-chip (NoC) has become the standard communication fabric for on-chip components in modern System-on-Chip (SoC) designs. Since NoC has visibility to all communications in the SoC, it has been one of the primary targets for security attacks. While packet encryption can provide secure communication, it can introduce unacceptable energy and performance overhead due to the resource-constrained nature of SoC designs. In this paper, we propose a lightweight encryption scheme that is implemented on the network interface. Our approach improves the performance of encryption without compromising security using incremental cryptography, which exploits the unique NoC traffic characteristics. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed approach significantly (up to 57%, 30% on average) reduces the encryption time compared to traditional approaches with negligible (less than 2%) impact on area overhead.