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The necessity of securing the communication between hardware components in embedded systems becomes increasingly important with regard to the secrecy of data and particularly its commercial use. We suggest a low-cost (i.e., small logic-area) solution for flexible security levels and short key lifetimes. The basis is an approach for symmetric key exchange using the synchronization of tree parity machines. Fast successive key generation enables a key exchange within a few milliseconds, given realistic communication channels with a limited bandwidth. For demonstration, we evaluate characteristics of a standard-cell ASIC design realization as IP-core in 0.18μ-technology.
Date of Publication: April 2005