Physically unclonable functions based on non-linearity of sub-threshold operation

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Date

2015-01-20

Authors

Michael E. Orshansky

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United States Patent and Trademark Office

Abstract

An electronic circuit for implementing a physically unclonable function. The electronic circuit includes duplicate circuits, referred to as “circuit primitives,” that generate a first and a second output voltage based on the received input, referred to as a “challenge.” The electronic circuit further includes a comparator coupled to the circuit primitives and generates an output based on the difference between the first and second output voltages. While the circuit primitives contain duplicate circuitry, the circuit primitives may generate a different output voltage due to a particular set of transistors in the circuit primitives operating in the sub-threshold region whose gates are tied to ground and whose sub-threshold current, the magnitude of which is random based on the threshold voltage variation of the set of transistors, is used to affect the value of the output voltage.

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