A robust SRAM-PUF key generation scheme based on polar codes

Bin Chen, Tanya Ignatenko, Frans M.J. Willems, Roel Maes, Erik van der Sluis, Georgios Selimis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) are relatively new security primitives used for device authentication and device-specific secret key generation. In this paper we focus on SRAM- PUFs. The SRAM-PUFs enjoy uniqueness and randomness properties stemming from the intrinsic randomness of SRAM memory cells, which is a result of manufacturing variations. This randomness can be translated into the cryptographic keys thus avoiding the need to store and manage the device cryptographic keys. Therefore these properties, combined with the fact that SRAM memory can be often found in today's IoT devices, make SRAM-PUFs a promising candidate for securing and authentication of the resource-constrained IoT devices. PUF observations are always affected by noise and environmental changes. Therefore secret- generation schemes with helper data are used to guarantee reliable regeneration of the PUF-based secret keys. Error correction codes (ECCs) are an essential part of these schemes. In this work, we propose a practical error correction construction for PUF-based secret generation that are based on polar codes. The resulting scheme can generate 128-bit keys using 1024 SRAM-PUF bits and 896 helper data bits and achieve a failure probability of 10^{-9} or lower for a practical SRAM-PUFs setting with bit error probability of 15%. The method is based on successive cancellation combined with list decoding and hash-based checking that makes use of the hash that is already available at the decoder. In addition, an adaptive list decoder for polar codes is investigated. This decoder increases the list size only if needed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509050192
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-5019-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Event2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM 2017) - Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 4 Dec 20178 Dec 2017


Conference2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM 2017)
Abbreviated titleGLOBECOM 2017


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