Physical Unclonable Functions or PUFs are increasingly being deployed as a hardware root-of-trust to secure IoT devices, data and services. They often outcompete traditional non-volatile memories (e.g. flash, EEPROM, anti- fuses, etc.) on different performance metrics such as security, flexibility and cost. The main strength of using PUF is that device-unique keys are generated using the entropy of the manufacturing process of an integrated circuit (IC). Therefore, no external sensitive key needs to be injected and/or programmed on the IC. Moreover, keys are not visible when the device is powered off. This explains the increasing use of PUF as a highly secure yet efficient key storage solution.
Among all PUF systems, the Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) PUF is the most mature. Another important benefit, which is not self-evident and often badly understood, is its reliability. The reliability of a PUF system is rather complex since it depends on the implementation of the PUF, the PUF behavior and the PUF post-processing or key extraction. In this document, we explore the reliability and all its aspects for Intrinsic ID’s SRAM PUF system and show that it is a very reliable storage medium for a cryptographic key, even under extreme conditions and for the entire lifetime of the IC.
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