Method and device for generating true random numbers

Summary of the technology

Method and device for generating true random numbers
CSIC and the University of Seville have developed a method and device for generating true random
numbers from Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) cells of any power-up bias, i.e., regardless of
whether the cell has a greater or lesser tendency towards one of the logical power-up values. In contrast
to the conventional power-up method, which is only able to generate True Random Numbers from a
very limited portion of the total number of cells in an SRAM, this new method is based on the Data
Retention Voltage metric, which provides the ability to extract randomness from any SRAM cell.
Industrial partners are sought to collaborate through a patent license agreement.
An offer for Patent Licensing

CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Maximizing the number of cells that can generate random numbers in SRAMs

Randomness can be extracted from any cell of the SRAM array.
The generation of random numbers by means of the method of the invention can be applicable in multiple fields. But the field where high-quality random numbers are requited is cryptography, with tasks like key generation, generation of "nonces", and generation of attack countermeasures. Ultra- low-power, low-cost lightweight cryptographic solutions use silicon Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) to provide identity to devices and, in this way, ensure its authenticity. The power-up state of SRAM cells circuits is one of the most popular PUFs. Based on an initial selection process where the repeatability of the power-up value of each cell is evaluated, SRAM cells are classified to provide either identity or random numbers. However, due to the large variability in the fabrication process of nano-CMOS technologies, very few cells in an SRAM array can actually be used for random number generation using power-up methods. The developed method allows to extract randomness from any cell, independently of the technology of fabrication, improving dramatically the capabilities of these circuits for cryptographic applications.

Main innovations and advantages

 A prior cell selection is not required · Instead, any cell, independently of each power up bias, can be used as a random number generator, thus taking advantage of all available cells.
 A larger increase in minimum entropy is achieved when compared to other existing techniques, thus alleviating the need for intense post- processing.
 The reading process can be performed at the nominal supply voltage, unlike other techniques, thus eliminating the technical difficulties of reading at a very low voltage.

Intellectual property status

  • Granted Patent
  • Patent application number :-

Related Keywords

  • Data Processing / Data Interchange, Middleware
  • static random access memory

About CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

The Spanish National Research Council (in Spanish 'Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)') is a government agency for basic and applied scientific research.

It is the largest public research organization in Spain, with presence in all the Autonomous Communities through 126 centers and 145 associated units.

CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

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