TruSecSys technology uses a physically unclonable functions (PUFs), which are capable of producing random, but repeatable, bitstrings or keys for applications such as device authentication and encryption. Many hardware security and trust mechanisms depend on the availability of a secret key.
PUFs provides a secret key by leveraging manufacturing variations on the chip, in contrast to traditional mechanisms that require the manufacturer to ‘burn-in’ the key into a specialized non-volatile memory. In addition to simplifying the process of assigning a key to each chip and reducing cost by eliminating the need for a non-volatile memory, the PUF provides each chip with a secret key that even the manufacturer is not able to access.
Non-volatile, memory-stored secret keys are subject to ‘invasive’ attacks, whereby the adversary physically probes and steals the key using test equipment. In contrast, PUFs store their secrets in manufacturing variations, meaning they do not exist in digital form while the IC is powered off. The subtle nature of these variations make it difficult or impossible for an adversary to probe them without altering and/or destroying the secret.
PUFs generate and store secrets in a more secure manner, which, in turn, improves the robustness of security-based applications that leverage them.
PUFs represent the next-generation of hardware security. They are resistant to spoofing, are volatile and non-replicable, and can be used to encrypt communication channels, protect against hardware piracy and malicious forms of hardware cloning and substitution.