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Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:36:47 +0200
From: Thomas Pornin <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Optimized versions for ARM?

On Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 07:43:49PM -0700, Bill Cox wrote:
> Milan is generously benchmarking on PowerPC, but isn't that a mostly dead
> architecture?

PowerPC is very common in the car and plane industries. Notably, if you
want radiation-shielded chips to put in satellites, then you will find
the "RAD" series, which are PowerPC. Whether such systems need to hash
passwords, though, is unclear. Close-to-human-user devices (say, mobile
phones), that store data and may use password-based encryption, tend to
use ARM, x86 or Mips CPU.

Notable cases are some game consoles. Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii were all
PowerPC-based. While Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PS4) switched to
x86, Nintendo (Wii U) keeps on using PowerPC. This still represents a
lot of consumer systems on which password hashing may be relevant.

As was discussed earlier, embedded systems are not a target of choice
for password hashing, since password hashing is all about muscle, that
embedded systems lack. If you restrain yourself to _powerful_ CPU that
are in common usage, then you and up with x86 and ARM, and also Mips
(mostly in routers). Of course, all three have a lot of variants, in
register size (32 or 64 bits), FPU, SIMD opcodes, RAM size and
bandwidth... Big POWER chips are sure apt at hashing passwords, but they
are expensive and rare. I similarly suggest to ignore high-end SPARC

	--Thomas Pornin

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