PUF Keys

Future Cramium implementations plan to utilize the resistive RAM cell to generate cryptographic Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) keys, enabling a more secure and cost-effective class of devices and systems. PUF keys are used to encrypt/decrypt data as well as create and verify digital signatures. Cryptographic keys are commonly referred to as a “physical unclonable function”, or PUF keys. These keys act as a secret “digital fingerprint” providing a set of random-unique identifying numbers for a specific device that cannot be easily observed, deciphered or copied, preventing an attacker from impersonating a valid device.

Digital attacks on computers, mobile phones and infrastructure are on the rise. These attacks also pose counterfeiting risks to brand name products. To resist such attacks, devices are integrating secret cryptographic “keys” to facilitate secure communications and control. While there are numerous technologies currently utilized as PUF keys, the most common approach leverages semiconductor Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). Unfortunately, this technology has numerous drawbacks limiting its level of security and effectiveness. Compared to SRAM PUF, the latest ReRAM based PUF cryptographic key technology has a higher level of randomness, much 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.

These keys are unique to each individual semiconductor integrated circuit (IC), leveraging the inherent randomness characteristics of the ReRAM technology and are planned to be used for identification, encryption/decryption and authentication.

By combining the ReRAM memory and PUF with its unique secure architecture, Cramium’s technology will enable a new class of secure computing, addressing many of the deficiencies of alternative implementations.