An application such as a set-top box can communicate with other media devices around the home. For example, it can download content to an iPod, interact with the home PC, or have an internet connection. These involve communication over different medium using different security protocols. In such security protocols, cryptography requires very intensive arithmetic which is time consuming for an embedded processor that typically has to respond to many interrupts from other functional blocks within the STB SoC.

Our research investigates adaptable processor architectures that can be used to provide a means to offload the intensive arithmetic. Recent work in this area has included the design of scalable cryptographic microprocessor architecture.

Cryptographic Microprocessor Architecture diagram