Manual engineering of high-performance implementations typically consumes many resources and requires in-depth knowledge of the hardware. Compilers try to address these problems; however, they are limited by design in what they can do. To address this, we present CryptOpt, an automatic optimizer for long stretches of straightline code. Experimental results across eight hardware platforms show that CryptOpt achieves a speed-up factor of up to 2.56 over current off-the-shelf compilers.
Most software domains rely on compilers to translate high-level code to multiple different machine languages, with performance not too much worse than what developers would have the patience to write directly in assembly language. However, cryptography has been an exception, where many performance-critical routines have been written directly in assembly (sometimes through metaprogramming layers). Some past work has shown how to do formal verification of that assembly, and other work has shown how to generate C code automatically along with formal proof, but with consequent performance penalties vs. the best-known assembly. We present CryptOpt, the first compilation pipeline that specializes high-level cryptographic functional programs into assembly code significantly faster than what GCC or Clang produce, with mechanized proof (in Coq) whose final theorem statement mentions little beyond the input functional program and the operational semantics of x86-64 assembly. On the optimization side, we apply randomized search through the space of assembly programs, with repeated automatic benchmarking on target CPUs. On the formal-verification side, we connect to the Fiat Cryptography framework (which translates functional programs into C-like IR code) and extend it with a new formally verified program-equivalence checker, incorporating a modest subset of known features of SMT solvers and symbolic-execution engines. The overall prototype is quite practical, e.g. producing new fastest-known implementations for the relatively new Intel i9 12G, of finite-field arithmetic for both Curve25519 (part of the TLS standard) and the Bitcoin elliptic curve secp256k1.