PUFs for SoCs

Physical Unclonable Functions for SoC Devices

University of Brasília 87,000 USD from Intel Labs 2012-2016
co-Principal Investigator

The security of current cryptographic methods is based on the infeasibility of solving certain computational problems. Basically, a cryptosystem is as secure as the underlying instance of a computational problem considered to be ?difficult?. However, in most cases, this implies higher power consumption for more secure cryptosystems, as they need to perform calculations on increasingly complicated mathematical objects as their security increases. Unfortunately, many of those current cryptographic solutions may be impractical in energy-constrained devices such as Systems on Chip (SoC). The goal of this project is to investigate new energy efficient cryptographic techniques based on Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs). Through the study of such methods we intend to develop novel frameworks for cheap energy efficient cryptography fully integrated with particular aspects of SoC devices. We focus on applications that are widely required both for personal services and in the financial/e-commerce markets. We propose the study of Physical Unclonable Functions as an alternative to computationally hard problems commonly used as basis for cryptographic protocols. PUFs are functions uniquely determined by the very physical properties of a given electronic device, meaning that they can?t be cloned since the exact physical structures of a device cannot be recreated. In this project, we propose to develop specific protocols for user authentication and key exchange based on PUFs. Such protocols are of great importance for e-banking, e-commerce and secure transactions applications, which are rapidly expanding markets in Brazil.