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Fast and reliable PUF response evaluation from unsettled bistable rings

: Hesselbarth, R.; Sigl, G.


Kitsos, P. ; European Organisation for Information Technology and Microelectronics; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
DSD 2016, 19th Euromicro Conference in Digital System Design. Proceedings : 31 August-2 September 2016, Limassol, Cyprus
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5090-2817-7
ISBN: 978-1-5090-2816-0
ISBN: 978-1-5090-2818-4 (Print)
Conference in Digital System Design (DSD) <19, 2016, Limassol>
Fraunhofer AISEC ()

Bistable ring (BR) based strong PUFs are promising candidates for lightweight authentication applications. It has been observed that a good '0'/'1'-balance of their responses correlates with longer settling times. This is problematic, since the state-of-the-art evaluation method requires the BR to be settled in order to generate a reliable PUF response. We show that settling times can easily extend beyond 100 milli seconds for 70 percent of the responses in the TBR PUF, which is a BR-based PUF with good '0'/'1'-balance characteristics. Hence, it is practically impossible to wait for all BRs to settle, which results in a reliability penalty. In order to solve this problem, we present three new methods, which allow the evaluation of unsettled BRs with increased reliability compared to the state-of-the-art method. We were able to achieve evaluation times down to 1 micro second and improve response reliability from 80 percent to up to 98.5 percent. This enables the fast and reliable use of BR-based PUFs in strong.