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The fastest block cipher is identity, which leaves input blocks completely unchanged. This is infinitely fast on all platforms; however, it is not secure. So maybe you want the fastest block cipher that still offers some given non-trivial level of security? Then it depends a lot on what you want to implement the block cipher on. With recent PC, you would ...


Is Rijndael the fastest block cipher in the world? No. On an Intel 64 Sandy Bridge without AES-NI, AES (a subset of Rijndael) is outperfomed by ChaCha20 (and also likely by Threefish 512 which has about 6-7cpb cost on an older Intel Core 2 Duo with 64-bit ASM (link: original Skein paper PDF)) as opposed to AES' 11 cpb. (7.59 cpb on an Intel Core 2) ...


Quoting from FIPS 197 (PDF), on page 11: Rcon[] The round constant word array. So, the answer is obviously "round constant".


RCon == Round Constant It's a value that slightly modifies how each round operates. Without it, AES might be vulnerable to a (related key) slide attack. Such an attack would probably not be of practical interest, however since it's so easy to avoid it (by including the RCon), it makes sense to.

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