Case ID: M11-059P

Published: 2011-07-05 14:41:16

Last Updated: 1677134963


Lawrence Clark
Srivatsan Chellappa

Technology categories

Computing & Information TechnologyPhysical Science

Licensing Contacts

Shen Yan
Director of Intellectual Property - PS
[email protected]

Improved SRAM Circuits for Integrated Circuit Identification Using Mismatch Fingerprint

There is a continuing need for high-level device security
to transfer information on penetrable channels, track the device and data, and
encrypt valuable data, whether for national security purposes, intellectual
property, or company and individual privacy. Obtaining a unique signature for an
integrated circuit can be an excellent tool to achieve these objectives, but the
current techniques to extract one are difficult to implement and not effective
enough. To have a successful fingerprint, an integrated circuit must be
algorithmically unpredictable, be consistent under all applied conditions, and
have an ID length sufficient for precise identification. The existing techniques
lack these essential criteria and also require costly circuit area.

Researchers at Arizona State University have created an
improved method to extract the hardware fingerprint using SRAM transistors. The
technique takes advantage of the inherent differences in circuit composition
created during the manufacturing process, utilizing the unique, consistent
response reproduced as precise voltages are applied to the circuit.

Potential Applications

  • Extra hardware layer in a multi-level security (MLS)

  • Authentication for business or federal-owned technologies
    in VPN access

  • Use with RFID tags on valuable products for inventory

  • Tag encrypted data with IC fingerprint for tracking in
    data transfer

Benefits and Advantages

  • No dedicated circuitry required, simply small
    modifications to circuit

  • Does not impede functionality or SRAM access time
  • Can be integrated into any embedded component
  • Improved security with fingerprint precision and SRAM
    random key generation

  • IC cannot be tampered with physically after production
    because it would discontinue functioning

  • Allows testing at other times than startup providing a
    more precise method for extracting fingerprints

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