PoQsiKom's Use Case: A Need for Trust Anchors

The PoQsiKom use case calls for a secure communication channel between two geographically separated entities. The authenticity as well as the confidentiality of this data is of crucial importance for the use case. A central element for such a channel is a trust anchor which should be able to run cryptographic functions as well as to securely store key material. To satisfy these requirements such a module is usually to be implemented in hardware and needs to be connected to the software on a host system.

As the last years have shown significant advances in the capabilities of quantum computers and such computers can possibly break classic asymmetric cryptography (e.g., RSA and ECC) in the future, this trust anchor should already support post-quantum cryptography. Most of the currently discussed post-quantum cryptographic algorithms have significant resource requirements. To run these algorithms with a reasonable latency, calls for hardware acceleration on the trust anchor.

Within the PoQsiKom project, the primary goal is to develop such a secure element based on an open-source RISC-V platform such as PULPino or OpenTitan, enhanced with accelerators for the chosen post-quantum cryptographic algorithms.

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