NIST has published NIST Internal Report 8454, Status Report on the Final Round of the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process. The announcement of NIST's decision to standardize the ASCON family was announced on February 7, 2023.
NIST announces the publication of NIST Internal Report (NIST IR) 8454, Status Report on the Final Round of the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process. This report describes the evaluation criteria and process for selecting authenticated encryption and hashing schemes suitable for applications in constrained environments. The standardization effort was a public, competition-like process based on NIST’s internal review of the finalists and public feedback.
In February 2019, 57 candidate algorithms were submitted to NIST for consideration. Among these, 56 were accepted as first-round candidates in April 2019. After four months, NIST selected 32 of the candidates for the second round. NIST announced 10 finalists in March 2021 – namely ASCON, Elephant, GIFT-COFB, Grain-128AEAD, ISAP, PHOTON-Beetle, Romulus, SPARKLE, TinyJAMBU, and Xoodyak – to move forward to the final round of the selection process. On February 7, 2023, NIST announced the decision to standardize the ASCON family for lightweight cryptography applications.