Observations on the Performance of PQ KEMs

Nir Drucker, Shay Gueron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This note discusses two aspects of the performance of Round-2 KEM candidates: (a) the impact of Simultaneous MultiThreading (SMT); (b) the balance between encapsulation and decapsulation. –Software performance can sometimes be improved by parallelization of tasks. In some cases this can be achieved by simultaneous execution on logical CPUs (also known as SMT). Since such a technology opens the door to possible security vulnerabilities, its overall benefit needs careful evaluation. We evaluate the hyper-threaded performance of some of the Round-2 KEM candidates proposed to the NIST Post Quantum Cryptography project.–The common assumption is: that slow decapsulation is performed on a (strong) server side and the weaker client platforms execute the (faster) encapsulation. We argue that this is not necessarily the case in TLS 1.3, which is now suggested as the next generation of secure communication protocols and discuss the implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th International Conference on Information Technology–New Generations, ITNG 2020
EditorsShahram Latifi
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783030430191
StatePublished - 2020
Event17th International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations, ITNG 2020 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 5 Apr 20208 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


Conference17th International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations, ITNG 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by BSF Grant 2018640 and by the Center for Cyber Law and Policy at the University of Haifa, in conjunction with the Israel National Cyber Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Implementation performance
  • NIST PQC Round 2 KEMs
  • Post quantum cryptography
  • Simultaneous multithreading (SMT)
  • TLS 1.3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science (all)


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