No two silicon chips, even with the same design, technology and fabrication process, are created alike. In the manufacturing process, there are unavoidable and uncontrollable variations at a molecular scale that make each silicon chip unique. With the silicon Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) technology invented by Prof. Srini Devadas and his team at MIT, these semiconductor manufacturing process variations can be used as silicon biometrics to uniquely identify each chip.
At its core, PUFs are tiny electrical circuits extremely sensitive to these minute variations that can be embedded in the chip to extract its unique characteristics. Verayo has developed the technology to probe, interrogate and collect a set of parameters from each PUF circuit to characterize the chip. Since these manufacturing process variations are unpredictable, permanent and impossible to clone, each PUF makes the chip "unclonable" and the parameters become "secrets" for various security applications.
Verayo's technology uses a challenge and response protocol to extract these secrets. Each PUF responds differently to the same challenge based on the "uniqueness" of the chip, its output is affected by the manufacturing variations.
Four patents related to the silicon PUF technology were made available from MIT exclusively to Verayo when the company was founded. Since then, ten more have been granted directly to Verayo and eight are pending.
14 patents granted
8 patents pending
PUF technology can be used to generate volatile keys from the silicon at very small technology nodes for applications where there is no secure memory.
PUF key generation and provisioning is highly secure and can be integrated into any ASIC and FPGA to establish trust between machines. There is no need for trusted programming and it can be used for cryptographic applications (AES, RSA, HMAC...)
PUF technology is elevating the security of semiconductor ICs and IC based systems:
- Since it is effectively impossible to clone PUF based ICs, PUF technology provides a reliable and secure way to authenticate PUF-based ICs and systems.
- Unlike conventional security solutions, PUFs do not store secret keys for cryptographic operations. PUFs dynamically generate unique and volatile secrets for each IC.
Meng-Day (Mandel) Yu, David M'Raihi, I. Verbauwhede, Srinivas Devadas
Meng-Day (Mandel) Yu, Richard Sowell, Alok Singh, David M'Raihi, Srinivas Devadas
Meng-Day (Mandel) Yu, David M'Raihi, Richard Sowell, Srinivas Devadas
Zdenek (Sid) Paral, Srinivas Devadas
Meng-Day (Mandel) Yu, Srinivas Devadas
Srinivas Devadas, Edward Suh, Sid Paral, Richard Sowell, Tom Ziola, Vivek Khandelwal