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A new framework is presented for evaluating the performance characteristics of block cipher structures composed of S-boxes and maximum distance separable (MDS) mappings. In particular, a novel performance metric is introduced and applied to nested substitution-permutation networks and Feistel networks with round functions composed of S-boxes and MDS mappings. Within each cipher structure, many cases are considered based on two types of S-boxes (4×4 and 8×8) and parameterised MDS mappings. In the study of each case, the performance is analysed based on a table lookup implementation. Although this implementation method is the typical approach used for software realisation, it may also be applicable to hardware realisation in some instances. Cipher security, in the form of resistance to differential and linear attacks, is applied as a basis which is used to normalise the performance in the analysis. Because the discussed structures are similar to many existing ciphers such as AES and Camellia, the analysis provides a meaningful mechanism for seeking efficient ciphers through a wide comparison of security, performance, and implementation methods.