This thesis presents a methodology to evaluate the energy efficiency of FPGA based AES designs and proposes a novel FPGA AES implementation which is highly flexible and energy efficient. The proposed methodology is implemented as part of a novel scripting tool, the AES Energy Analyzer, which is able to fully characterize the power dissipation and energy efficiency of FPGA based AES designs. Additionally, this thesis introduces a new FPGA power reduction technique called Opportunistic Combinational Operand Gating (OCOG) which is used in the proposed energy efficient implementation.
The AES Energy Analyzer was able to estimate the power dissipation and energy efficiency of the proposed AES design during its most commonly performed operations. It was found that the proposed implementation consumes less energy per operation than any previous FPGA based AES implementations that included power estimations. Finally, the use of Opportunistic Combinational Operand Gating on an AES cipher was found to reduce its dynamic power consumption by up to 17% when compared to an identical design that did not employ the technique.