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Publication# Generalised Mersenne Numbers Revisited

Abstract

Generalised Mersenne Numbers (GMNs) were defined by Solinas in 1999 and feature in the NIST (FIPS 186-2) and SECG standards for use in elliptic curve cryptography. Their form is such that modular reduction is extremely efficient, thus making them an attractive choice for modular multiplication implementation. However, the issue of residue multiplication efficiency seems to have been overlooked. Asymptotically, using a cyclic rather than a linear convolution, residue multiplication modulo a Mersenne number is twice as fast as integer multiplication; this property does not hold for prime GMNs, unless they are of Mersenne's form. In this work we exploit an alternative generalisation of Mersenne numbers for which an analogue of the above property -- and hence the same efficiency ratio -- holds, even at bitlengths for which schoolbook multiplication is optimal, while also maintaining very efficient reduction. Moreover, our proposed primes are abundant at any bitlength, whereas GMNs are extremely rare. Our multiplication and reduction algorithms can also be easily parallelised, making our arithmetic particularly suitable for hardware implementation. Furthermore, the field representation we propose also naturally protects against side-channel attacks, including timing attacks, simple power analysis and differential power analysis, which is essential in many cryptographic scenarios, in constrast to GMNs.

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Mersenne prime

In mathematics, a Mersenne prime is a prime number that is one less than a power of two. That is, it is a prime number of the form Mn = 2n − 1 for some integer n. They are named after Marin Mersenne, a French Minim friar, who studied them in the early 17th century. If n is a composite number then so is 2n − 1. Therefore, an equivalent definition of the Mersenne primes is that they are the prime numbers of the form Mp = 2p − 1 for some prime p. The exponents n which give Mersenne primes are 2, 3, 5, 7, 13, 17, 19, 31, .

Double Mersenne number

In mathematics, a double Mersenne number is a Mersenne number of the form where p is prime. The first four terms of the sequence of double Mersenne numbers are : A double Mersenne number that is prime is called a double Mersenne prime. Since a Mersenne number Mp can be prime only if p is prime, (see Mersenne prime for a proof), a double Mersenne number can be prime only if Mp is itself a Mersenne prime. For the first values of p for which Mp is prime, is known to be prime for p = 2, 3, 5, 7 while explicit factors of have been found for p = 13, 17, 19, and 31.

Modular multiplicative inverse

In mathematics, particularly in the area of arithmetic, a modular multiplicative inverse of an integer a is an integer x such that the product ax is congruent to 1 with respect to the modulus m. In the standard notation of modular arithmetic this congruence is written as which is the shorthand way of writing the statement that m divides (evenly) the quantity ax − 1, or, put another way, the remainder after dividing ax by the integer m is 1.

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