From Physical to Stochastic Modeling of a TERO-Based TRNG
Security in random number generation for cryptography is closely related to the entropy rate at the generator output. This rate has to be evaluated using an appropriate stochastic model. The stochastic model proposed in this paper is dedicated to the transition effect ring oscillator (TERO)-based true random number generator (TRNG) proposed by Varchola and Drutarovsky (in: Cryptographic hardware and embedded systems (CHES), 2010, Springer, 2010 ). The advantage and originality of this model are that it is derived from a physical model based on a detailed study and on the precise electrical description of the noisy physical phenomena that contribute to the generation of random numbers. We compare the proposed electrical description with data generated in two different technologies: TERO TRNG implementations in 40 and 28 nm CMOS ASICs. Our experimental results are in very good agreement with those obtained with both the physical model of TERO’s noisy behavior and the stochastic model of the TERO TRNG, which we also confirmed using the AIS 31 test suites.
Evaluation and Monitoring of Free Running Oscillators Serving as Source of Randomness
In this paper, we evaluate clock signals generated in ring oscillators and self-timed rings and the way their jitter can be transformed into random numbers. We show that counting the periods of the jittery clock signal produces random numbers of significantly better quality than the methods in which the jittery signal is simply sampled (the case in almost all current methods). Moreover, we use the counter values to characterize and continuously monitor the source of randomness. However, instead of using the widely used statistical variance, we propose to use Allan variance to do so. There are two main advantages: Allan variance is insensitive to low frequency noises such as flicker noise that are known to be autocorrelated and significantly less circuitry is required for its computation than that used to compute commonly used variance. We also show that it is essential to use a differential principle of randomness extraction from the jitter based on the use of two identical oscillators to avoid autocorrelations originating from external and internal global jitter sources and that this fact is valid for both kinds of rings. Last but not least, we propose a method of statistical testing based on high order Markov model to show the reduced dependencies when the proposed randomness extraction is applied.
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