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Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2014 17:34:16 -0400
From: Bill Cox <waywardgeek@...il.com>
To: discussions@...sword-hashing.net
Subject: Re: [PHC] Doubts about AntCrypt floating-point use

On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 5:21 PM, Poul-Henning Kamp <phk@....freebsd.dk> wrote:
> In message <CAK9dnSxe1WppG-dL09zDVymn-AnDrher2d8GXbjfczzRncKp7A@...l.gmail.com>
> , CodesInChaos writes:
>
>>I expect the floating point use to be very non-portable.
>
> Were it just floating point, but it is actually trignometic functions,
> sin(), cos() and tan().
>
> Never mind that they are hard to implement in hardware, they
> are almost as hard to implement i software.
>
> Almost all trig functions uses approximations and therfore it is
> very common, amost expected, to see differences in the last bit of
> the mantissa between different implementations or even the same
> implementation on different platforms, compilers etc.
>
> Using trig functions is almost guaranteed to be a total killer
> for password portability, including across operating and hardware
> upgrades to the intended computer.
>
>
> Poul-Henning
>
> (Disclosure:  PHC panel member.)
>
> --
> Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
> phk@...eBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
> FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
> Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

Well, I just said I'd hold off picking on poor AntCrypt, since it's
not the guy's fault he picked a name starting with A, but...

Clearly he'll have to change his functions to eliminate the trig.
Either that or provide software versions that always yield the same
result.  He did say that he may want to update the function list in
the "tweak" period, so I think he should be allowed to move away from
the trig stuff, and maybe floating point all together, and replace
them with more portable simple one-line functions like the ones he
has.

That said, while the pseudo-random function sequence may frustrate
current GPUs (does it?), it wont be a problem for FPGAs and ASICs that
will simply compute each in parallel and have a mux on the output to
select which one is next.  Also, the author may be mistaken about how
large floating point operations are in silicon now days.  A 64-bit
multiplier is at least half the size, if I'm not mistaken, of a
floating point multiplier with a 64-bit mantissa.  Multiplications are
good, though.  With the limited memory (32 KiB is suggested), it also
is a target for the multi-CPU thingies.

Apologies to the author... sorry, you were at the top of the list.

Bill

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