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Fast and reliable PUF response evaluation from unsettled bistable rings

: Hesselbarth, R.; Heyszl, J.; Sigl, G.


Microprocessors and microsystems 52 (2017), S.325-332
ISSN: 0141-9331
European Commission EC
FP7; 608224; SPARKS
Smart Grid Protection Against Cyber Attacks
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 ms 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 improve response reliability from 81 percent to up to 98.5 percent and achieve response reliabilities of 97 percent at an evaluation time of 320 ns. This enables the fast and reliable use of BR-based PUFs in strong PUF applications.