SHA1 broken?

Thomas Shaddack shaddack at
Mon Mar 7 12:01:57 PST 2005

FPGAs will have very hard time to be as fast as "dedicated" CPUs, 
frequency-wise. The FPGA structures have to be too generic, and are much 
bigger than specialized structures of the CPUs, so they have higher 
capacity, which limits the maximum achievable switching frequency. The 
length of the wiring between the structures together with the lazy speed 
of light plays its role as well. However, the FPGA structure allows 
parallelizing of processing tasks, which can in some cases neatly beat the 
sequential CPUs.

There are FPGAs with on-chip RISC CPU cores, allowing reaping the benefits 
of both architectures in a single chip.

On Sat, 5 Mar 2005, Tyler Durden wrote:

> Well, what would you call a network processor? An FPGA or a CPU? I think of it
> as somewhere in between, given credence to the FPGA statement below.
> -TD
> > From: "Major Variola (ret)" <mv at>
> > To: "cypherpunks at" <cypherpunks at>
> > Subject: Re: SHA1 broken?
> > Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2005 06:51:24 -0800
> > 
> > At 09:23 PM 2/19/05 +0000, Dave Howe wrote:
> > >   I am unaware of any massive improvement (certainly to the scale of
> > > the comparable improvement in CPUs) in FPGAs, and the ones I looked at
> > a
> > > a few days ago while researching this question seemed to have pretty
> > 
> > FPGAs scale with tech the same as CPUs, however CPUs contain a lot
> > more design info (complexity).  But FPGAs since '98 have gotten
> > denser (Moore's observation), pioneering Cu wiring, smaller features,
> > etc.

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