# Why is the BSI not using powers of two?

In their Technical Guideline TR-02102-2 Cryptographic Mechanisms: Recommendations and Key Lengths the BSI is giving minimal key lengths for - e.g. the TLS handshake protocol. All of these are not integers that are a power of two. I always thought, that it was the norm to give key lengths as powers of two. Is it not?

In particular, in RSA, when we make the product of two 1024-bit primes, the result is 2047 or 2048-bit. This scenario happens with some versions of PGP/GPG, and some SSH software. Contrast with FIPS 186-4, which wants 2048-bit moduli to be exactly 2048-bit, and towards that goal generates 1024-bit primes at least $$2^{1023.5}$$. TR-02102-2 is slightly more lenient, in a way that does not practically compromise security.