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Implementation and Characterization of a Physical Unclonable Function for IoT: A Case Study With the TERO-PUF

Author(s): C. Marchand, L. Bossuet, U. Mureddu, N. Bochard, A. Cherkaoui, V. Fischer

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems

Volume: 37

Issue: 1

Pages: 97-109

Doi : 10.1109/TCAD.2017.2702607

Today, life is becoming increasingly connected. From TVs to smartphones, including vehicles, buildings, and household appliances, everything is interconnected in what we call the “Internet of Things” (IoT). IoT is now part of our life and we have to deal with it. More than ten billion devices are already connected and five times more are expected to be deployed in the next five years. While deployment and integration of IoT is expanding, one of the main challenge is to provide practical solutions to security, privacy, and trust issues in IoT. Protection and security mechanisms need to include features such as interoperability and scalability but also traceability, authentication, and access control while remaining lightweight. Among the most promising approaches to such security mechanisms, physical unclonable functions (PUFs) provide a unique identifier for similar but different integrated circuits using some of their physical characteristics. These types of functions can thus be used to authenticate integrated circuits, provide traceability and access control. This paper presents a comprehensive case study of the transient effect ring oscillator (RO) PUF from its implementation on FPGAs to its complete characterization. The implementation of the PUF is detailed for two different families of FPGAs: 1) Xilinx Spartan 6 and 2) Altera Cyclone V. All the metrics used for the characterization are explained in detail and the results of the characterization include robustness to environmental parameters including variations in temperature and voltage. Finally, we compare our results with those obtained for another PUF: the RO PUF. All the design files are available online to ensure repeatability and enable comparison of our contribution with other studies.