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Proceedings Paper

Exploiting metastability and thermal noise to build a reconfigurable hardware random number generator
Author(s): Daihyun Lim; Damith C. Ranasinghe; Srinivas Devadas; Behnam Jamali; Derek Abbott; Peter H. Cole
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Paper Abstract

While pseudo random number generators based on computational complexity are widely used for most of cryptographic applications and probabilistic simulations, the generation of true random numbers based on physical randomness is required to guarantee the advanced security of cryptographic systems. In this paper we present a method to exploit manufacturing variations, metastablity, and thermal noise in integrated circuits to generate random numbers. This metastability based physical random number generator provides a compact and low-power solution which can be fabricated using standard IC manufacturing processes. Test-chips were fabricated in TSMC 0.18um process and experimental results show that the generated random bits pass standard randomness tests successfully. The operation of the proposed scheme is robust against environmental changes since it can be re-calibrated to new environmental conditions such as temperature and power supply voltage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2005
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 5844, Noise in Devices and Circuits III, (23 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.620306
Show Author Affiliations
Daihyun Lim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Damith C. Ranasinghe, Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
Srinivas Devadas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Behnam Jamali, Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
Derek Abbott, Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)
Peter H. Cole, Univ. of Adelaide (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5844:
Noise in Devices and Circuits III
Alexander A. Balandin; Francois Danneville; M. Jamal Deen; Daniel M. Fleetwood, Editor(s)

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