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Probabilistic Instruction Execution: The MAYBE Predicate

J. Irwin, H. L. Muller, D. Page, N. P. Smart, B. W. Silverman, Probabilistic Instruction Execution: The MAYBE Predicate. CSTR-03-005, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol. March 2003. PDF, 85 Kbytes.


Instruction predication is an attractive method for improving the throughput of a pipelined processor by eliminating the adverse side-effects of branch operations. Although it may alone help to prevent simple power analysis (SPA) type attacks by masking branch execution, predication systems can also be augmented to allow a building block for defence against more powerful cryptographic attacks. We present the idea of probabilistic instruction execution, that is execution of an instruction based on some random probability, as a method for implementing high-level constructs for implementing algorithmic defences against differential power analysis (DPA).

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