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Why we need revolutionary hardware for FHE

by Rosario Cammarota - 23.11.2021

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In spite of strong advances in confidential computing technologies, critical information is encrypted only temporarily – while not in use – and remains unencrypted during computation in most present-day computing infrastructures. The inability to keep critical information encrypted during computation can hinder the ability to fully share data and extract its maximum value.

Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) is a cryptographic method to protect information confidentiality by enabling the processing of encrypted data without decrypting. However, the application of FHE carries a severe “performance tax” that is difficult to overcome with existing hardware.

The need for revolutionary hardware to enable FHE applications was identified by DARPA in the context of the DPRIVE program. As part of the DPRIVE program execution, Intel and Microsoft are realizing a platform to make FHE technologies more accessible by developing revolutionary hardware and software stack. Furthermore, the team is committed to the development of international standards and best practices. Overall, the initiative can enable unprecedented, cost-effective FHE performance, and pave the path for industrial deployment.

The speaker

Ro is a Principal Engineer at Intel Labs. He leads privacy technologies research theory, application, and standardization, focusing on processing encrypted data. He is the Intel principal investigator for the DARPA DPRIVE program, and the Intel Crypto Frontiers Academic Center. He leads standardization of fully homomorphic encryption at ISO/IEC JTC1. Ro is a Senior Member of IEEE, and one of the recipients of the SRC Outstanding Industry Liaison Awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, in 2013.

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