International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


A Cautionary Note When Looking for a Truly Reconfigurable Resistive RAM PUF

Kai-Hsin Chuang , imec-COSIC, KU Leuven; imec
Robin Degraeve , imec
Andrea Fantini , imec
Guido Groeseneken , imec; ESAT, KU Leuven
Dimitri Linten , imec
Ingrid Verbauwhede , imec-COSIC, KU Leuven
DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2018.i1.98-117
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Abstract: The reconfigurable physically unclonable function (PUF) is an advanced security hardware primitive, suitable for applications requiring key renewal or similar refresh functions. The Oxygen vacancies-based resistive RAM (RRAM), has been claimed to be a physically reconfigurable PUF due to its intrinsic switching variability. This paper first analyzes and compares various previously published RRAM-based PUFs with a physics-based RRAM model. We next discuss their possible reconfigurability assuming an ideal configuration-to-configuration behavior. The RRAM-to-RRAM variability, which mainly originates from a variable number of unremovable vacancies inside the RRAM filament, however, has been observed to have significant impact on the reconfigurability. We show by quantitative analysis on the clear uniqueness degradation from the ideal situation in all the discussed implementations. Thus we conclude that true reconfigurability with RRAM PUFs might be unachievable due to this physical phenomena.
Video from TCHES 2018
  title={A Cautionary Note When Looking for a Truly Reconfigurable Resistive RAM PUF},
  journal={Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems},
  publisher={Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum},
  volume={2018, Issue 1},
  author={Kai-Hsin Chuang and Robin Degraeve and Andrea Fantini and Guido Groeseneken and Dimitri Linten and Ingrid Verbauwhede},