ReRAM applied to physically unclonable function

July 20, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
ReRAM applied to physically unclonable function
CrossBar Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has announced that its Resistive RAM (ReRAM) can be used to implement physical unclonable functions (PUFs) for cryptographic keys in secure computing applications. 

Conventionally the metastability of SRAMs has been used to implement PUFs although in recent times the inherent variability of material layers or quantum effects has also been used.

CrossBar's filamentary ReRAM is typically used as non-volatile semiconductor memory but can be used for hardware security applications.

CrossBar claims that compared to SRAM PUF, CrossBar's latest ReRAM based PUF cryptographic key technology has a higher level of randomness, lower bit error rate, resistance to invasive attacks and the capability of handling a broad range of environmental variations without requiring fuzzy extractors, helper data or heavy error correction code.

The ReRAM keys are unique to each IC leveraging the inherent randomness characteristics of the ReRAM technology. These keys will be used for identification, encryption/decryption and authentication.

"We believe the state-of-the-art use of our unique technology as PUF cryptographic keys will provide higher security for our customers' products and open new markets for CrossBar's technology," said Mark Davis, president at CrossBar, in statement.

"After analyzing numerous PUF technologies, we believe CrossBar's ReRAM has significant advantages for use as next generation physical unclonable function (PUF) keys," said Dr. Bertrand Cambou, Professor of Nanotechnology and Cybersecurity at Northern Arizona University, and formerly a top executive at Gemplus and several other Silicon Valley technology companies. "Due to its unique stochastic and electrical characteristics, CrossBar's ReRAM PUF enables significantly more secure systems compared to incumbent PUF technologies."

Related links and articles:

White paper on ReRAM PUF

News articles:

Weebit shows 'selector' for stand-alone ReRAM

Cerfe Labs claims ferroelectric RAM, FET breakthrough

Dialog licenses non-volatile memory to GloFo

Quantum semiconductor IP verified against IoT attacks

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