Power-Up SRAM State as an Identifying Fingerprint and Source of True Random Numbers

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Executive Summary

Intermittently-powered applications create a need for low-cost security and privacy in potentially hostile environments, supported by primitives including identification and random number generation. The measurements show that power up of SRAM produces a physical fingerprint. This paper proposes a system of Fingerprint Extraction and Random Numbers in SRAM (FERNS) that harvests static identity and randomness from existing volatile CMOS memory without requiring any dedicated circuitry. The identity results from manufacture-time physically random device threshold voltage mismatch, and the random numbers result from run-time physically random noise.

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