DES has 8 different S-boxes, and AES has only 1.

What are the negative consequences of such choices?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd guess mostly implementation complexity. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ The AES s-box is much larger and non linear than the DES s-boxes $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


Implementation complexity in software and constrained hardware.

In Serpent, each round uses the same S-box, even though 8 s-boxes are used. This makes it easier to bitsplice the cipher, or process each 4-bit s-box in parallel.

The minimum gate count for a DES implementation is 2300 gates. For Present it is 1075 gates.

Software and constrained hardware implementations benefit from a cipher that can be easily serialized.

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