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Home   /   Thesis   /   Flicker noise caracterization and modelization for true random number generator applications

Flicker noise caracterization and modelization for true random number generator applications

Cyber security : hardware and sofware Technological challenges


Random number generators are the corner stone for cryptographic systems. True random number generator (TRNG) implementations are based on an unpredictable physical process for its entropy source. This source can be integrated into an ASIC or an FPGA. In order to reach a high level of security and to satisfy modern European certification schemes (AIS31), the entropy source must be described with a parameterized stochastic model, that allow to compute the minimum rate of entropy per bit at the output of the generator.

The stochastic model parameters of a TRNG based on ring oscillators (RO) depend of two analog noise sources: thermal noise and flicker noise. Both contribute to the phase noise (jitter) of the oscillators. In the current state of the art, the contribution of the thermal noise to entropy is well understood and modeled, but the flicker noise also contributes to the jitter and is getting more predominant as the size of the transistors decreases. It is therefore necessary to characterize the flicker noise in order not to overestimate the rate of entropy per bit that the TRNG can produce based solely on the contribution of thermal noise, or better, to understand and calculate its contribution to the entropy per bit of the generator.

The objective of the thesis is the characterization, modeling and quantification of the flicker noise and its use as a source of randomness in TRNGs based on ring oscillators, aiming a high-level of security for sensitive cryptographic applications.


Département Systèmes (LETI)
Service Sécurité des Systèmes Electroniques et des Composants
Laboratoire de Sécurité des COmposants
Grenoble INP
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