Benjamin Lampert: 2016 IoT Workshop


Thursday, April 14, 2016
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"A Fast, Cheap, High-Entropy Source for IoT Devices"



Underpinning the strength of security algorithms is a requirement for a strong entropy pool. For embedded devices, random bits typically come from on chip random number generators (RNG), but the mechanisms for how entropy is derived is generally opaque and proprietary. External RNG designs are transparent and testable, but often lack min entropy guarantees. In this work an architecture for a new random number generator circuit is proposed that addresses these problems and can be integrated into existing embedded designs. By using zener breakdown, a non-deterministic quantum device physics phenomena, a verifiable circuit can be realized to generate random bits with min entropy guarantees. The resulting hardware is inexpensive, has a small footprint, and can be disabled to preserve power when not in use.


Ben is a Stanford Electrical Engineering masters student working under Phil Levis. His research is on IoT security and he also works at a startup in the wireless industry. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 2012.