BCryptCreateMultiHash function (bcrypt.h)

The BCryptCreateMultiHash function creates a multi-hash state that allows for the parallel computation of multiple hash operations. This multi-hash state is used by the BCryptProcessMultiOperations function. The multi-hash state can be thought of as an array of hash objects, each of which is equivalent to one created by BCryptCreateHash.

Parallel computations can greatly increase overall throughput, at the expense of increased latency for individual computations.

Parallel hash computations are currently only implemented for SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512. Other hash algorithms can be used with the parallel computation API but they run at the throughput of the sequential hash operations. The set of hash algorithms that can benefit from parallel computations might change in future updates.


NTSTATUS BCryptCreateMultiHash(
  [in, out] BCRYPT_ALG_HANDLE  hAlgorithm,
  [out]     BCRYPT_HASH_HANDLE *phHash,
  [in]      ULONG              nHashes,
  [out]     PUCHAR             pbHashObject,
  [in]      ULONG              cbHashObject,
  [in]      PUCHAR             pbSecret,
  [in]      ULONG              cbSecret,
  [in]      ULONG              dwFlags


[in, out] hAlgorithm

The algorithm handle used for all of the hash states in the multi-hash array. The algorithm handle must have been opened with the BCYRPT_MULTI_FLAG passed to the BCryptOpenAlgorithmProvider function. Alternatively, the caller can use the pseudo-handles.

[out] phHash

A pointer to a BCRYPT_HASH_HANDLE value that receives a handle that represents the multi-hash state. This handle is used in subsequent operations such as BCryptProcessMultiOperations. When you have finished using this handle, release it by passing it to the BCryptDestroyHash function.

[in] nHashes

The number of elements in the array. The multi-hash state that this function creates is able to perform parallel computations on nHashes different hash states.

[out] pbHashObject

A pointer to a buffer that receives the multi-hash state.

The size can be calculated from the cbPerObject and cbPerElement members of the BCRYPT_MULTI_OBJECT_LENGTH_STRUCT structure. The value is the following: cbPerObject + (number of hash states) * cbPerElement.

If pbHashObject is NULL and cbHashObject has a value of zero (0), the object buffer is automatically allocated.

[in] cbHashObject

The size of the pbHashObject buffer, or zero if pbHashObject is NULL.

[in] pbSecret

A pointer to a buffer that contains the key to use for the hash or MAC. The cbSecret parameter contains the size of this buffer. This key only applies to hash algorithms opened by the BCryptOpenAlgorithmProvider function by using the BCRYPT_ALG_HANDLE_HMAC flag. Otherwise, set this parameter to NULL.

The same key is used for all elements of the array.

[in] cbSecret

The size, in bytes, of the pbSecret buffer. If no key is used, set this parameter to zero.

[in] dwFlags

Flags that modify the behavior of the function. This can be zero or the values below. Multi-hash objects are always reusable and always behave as if the BCRYPT_HASH_REUSABLE_FLAG was passed. This flag is supported here for consistency.

Value Meaning
Creates a reusable hashing object. The object can be used for a new hashing operation immediately after calling BCryptFinishHash. For more information, see Creating a Hash with CNG.

Return value



Internally, parallel hash computations are done using single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) instructions with up to 8 parallel computations at a time, depending on the hash algorithm and the CPU features available. To maximize performance, we recommend that the caller provide at least eight computations that can be processed in parallel.

For computations of unequal length, providing more computations in parallel allows the implementation to schedule the computations better across the CPU registers. This can provide a throughput benefit. For optimal throughput, we recommend that the caller provide between eight and 100 computations. Select a lower value in that range only if all the hash computations are the same length.

Multi-hashing is not supported for HMAC-MD2, HMAC-MD4, and GMAC.


Minimum supported client Windows 8.1 Update [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2008 Update [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header bcrypt.h
Library Bcrypt.lib
DLL Bcrypt.dll

See also








Creating a Hash with CNG