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L. Leonardi, G. Lettieri, P. Perazzo, S. Saponara: "On the Hardware-Software Integration in Cryptographic Accelerators for Industrial IoT". Applied Sciences 2022

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Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applies IoT technologies on industrial automation systems with the aims of providing remote sensing, remote control, self-organization and self-maintenance. Since IIoT systems often constitute a critical infrastructure, cybersecurity risks have rapidly increased over the last years. To address cybersecurity requirements, we need to deploy cryptographic processing components which are particularly efficient, considering also that many IIoT systems have real-time constraints. Hardware acceleration can greatly improve the efficiency of cryptographic functions, but the speed-up could be jeopardized by a bad hardware–software integration, which is an aspect often underrated by the literature. Considering that modern IIoT devices often mount an operating system to fulfill their complex tasks, software influence on efficiency cannot be neglected. In this paper, we develop a software–hardware integration of various cryptographic accelerators with a Linux operating system, and we test its performance with two typical IIoT reference applications. We also discuss our design choices and the lessons learned during the development process.


Keywords: industrial internet of things; cryptography; hardware acceleration; hardware–software integration; driver; OpenSSL