Modeling, design and characterization of delay-chains based true random number generator

Abstract : Random numbers are required in numerous applications namely in cryptography where randomness is used in security protocols. There are two main classes of Random Number Generators (RNG) : The Pseudo RNG (PRNG) which have a deterministic sequence, and the True RNG (TRNG) which generates unpredictable random numbers. Cryptographic applications use both TRNG and PRNG. The PRNG needs an initial value, or seed, which can be the output of a TRNG. In digital technologies, like FPGAs, TRNG are commonly based on oscillators which have the drawback of being biased by harmonic coupling. In order to assess the entropic quality of TRNGs, standards based on statistical tests have been elaborated by certification organisms namely the NIST and the BSI. However, it is recommended to formalize the stochastic behaviour of the randomness generation process. In this Ph.D, we address the design and quality evaluation of TRNGs in digital circuits. We study of a low-cost digital TRNG without oscillators, hence robust against harmonics attacks. The proposed TRNG exploits both the metastability phenomenon and the jitter noise in CMOS digital flip-flops to generate the random numbers. A stochastic model of this TRNG has been formalized. This model describes the random generation process regardless of the targeted technology. The characterization and evaluation on a prototype circuit, in FPGA and ASIC technologies, has shown that the proposed TRNG architecture generates randomness of good quality and is robust against environmental variations.
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Molka Ben Romdhane. Modeling, design and characterization of delay-chains based true random number generator. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Télécom ParisTech, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014ENST0055⟩. ⟨tel-01354263⟩

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