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Status Report on the Final Round of the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process



Meltem Sonmez Turan, Kerry McKay, Donghoon Chang, Jinkeon Kang, Noah Waller, John M. Kelsey, Lawrence E. Bassham, Deukjo Hong


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiated a public standardization process to select one or more Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data (AEAD) and hashing schemes suitable for constrained environments. In February 2019, 57 candidates 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. In March 2021, NIST announced 10 finalists – namely ASCON, Elephant, GIFT-COFB, Grain-128AEAD, ISAP, PHOTON-Beetle, Romulus, SPARKLE, Tiny-JAMBU, 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. This report describes the evaluation criteria and selection process, which is based on public feedback and internal review of the finalists.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8454
Report Number


authenticated encryption, constrained devices, cryptography, hash functions, lightweight cryptography, standardization


Sonmez Turan, M. , McKay, K. , Chang, D. , Kang, J. , Waller, N. , Kelsey, J. , Bassham, L. and Hong, D. (2023), Status Report on the Final Round of the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Process, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created June 16, 2023