Design and Evaluation of a PVT Variation-Resistant TRNG Circuit

Bikash Poudel, Arslan Munir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


On-chip true random number generators (TRNGs) can be designed by using traditional CMOS technology or by using more recent nanoscale devices and technologies. In CMOS technology, TRNGs are designed by harnessing random physical variations (e.g., thermal/supply/telegraph noise, jitter, latch metastability, etc.). Since CMOS technologies are slowly saturating in development, more recently, nanoscale devices and technologies, such as memristor, magnetic tunnel junction, carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc., are being used to design TRNG circuits. An ideal TRNG circuit is expected to generate a sequence of random bits with very high bit-entropy and zero correlation among the generated bitstreams. However, increasing variations in the fabrication process and the sensitivity of transistors to operating conditions (e.g., voltage, and temperature (PVT)) have a significant impact on bit-entropy of TRNGs designed in deep nanometer technologies. Furthermore, PVT variations can be exploited by an adversary as effective tools to attack TRNGs. To mitigate these issues, we propose three probabilistic circuits: probability booster, probability dropper, and probability stabilizer. We use these circuits to build our proposed TRNG circuit. We also propose a stochastic model of our proposed TRNG circuit. To validate our proposed model, we have simulated our TRNG circuit using PSpice simulator using 65nm and 28nm processes. Results reveal that our proposed TRNG can generate random numbers with bit-entropy that always lies in the range [0.998, 1] at a data rate of 16 Mbps and is robust against PVT variations. Using the NIST SP 800-22 test suite for randomness, we demonstrate that the output of the proposed TRNG circuit is statistically random with 99% confidence levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE 36th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538684771
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019
Event36th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2018 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Oct 7 2018Oct 10 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2018 IEEE 36th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2018


Conference36th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • probabilistic switches
  • PVT variations
  • stochastic switching circuits
  • thermal noise
  • TRNG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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