Protecting data is a critical part of life in the modern world. The science of protecting data, known as cryptography,
makes use of secret keys to encrypt data in a format that is not easily decipherable. However, most modern cryptography
systems use passwords to perform user authentication. These passwords are a weak link in the security chain, as well as
a common point of attack on cryptography schemes. One alternative to password usage is biometrics: using a person’s
physical characteristics to verify who the person is and unlock the data correspondingly. This study provides a concrete
implementation of the Cambridge biometric cryptosystem. In addition, hardware acceleration has been performed on the
system in order to reduce system runtime and energy usage, which is compared with software-level code optimization.
The experiment takes place on a Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC. Software implementation is run on one of
the embedded ARM A9 cores while hardware implementation makes use of the programmable logic. This has resulted in
an algorithm with strong performance characteristics in both energy usage and runtime.