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McEliece scheme represents a code-based public-key cryptosystem. So far, this cryptosystem was not employed because of efficiency questions regarding performance and communication overhead.This paper presents a novel processor architecture as a high-performance platform to execute key generation, encryption and decryption according to this cryptosystem. A prototype of this processor is realized on Virtex-5 FPGA and tested via a software API. A comparison with a similar software solution highlights the performance advantage of the proposed hardware solution.