Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Multiple Observations for Secret-Key Binding with SRAM PUFs

Version 1 : Received: 7 April 2021 / Approved: 8 April 2021 / Online: 8 April 2021 (10:17:52 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Kusters, L.; Willems, F.M.J. Multiple Observations for Secret-Key Binding with SRAM PUFs. Entropy 2021, 23, 590. Kusters, L.; Willems, F.M.J. Multiple Observations for Secret-Key Binding with SRAM PUFs. Entropy 2021, 23, 590.


We present a new Multiple-Observations (MO) helper data scheme for secret-key binding to an SRAM PUF. This MO scheme binds a single key to multiple enrollment observations of the SRAM PUF. Performance is improved in comparison to classic schemes which generate helper data based on a single enrollment observation. The performance increase can be explained by the fact that the reliabilities of the different SRAM cells are modeled (implicitly) in the helper data. We prove that the scheme achieves secret-key capacity for any number of enrollment observations, and, therefore it is optimal. We evaluate performance of the scheme using Monte Carlo simulations, where an off-the-shelf LDPC code is used to implement the linear error-correcting code. Another scheme that models the reliabilities of the SRAM cells is the so-called Soft-Decision (SD) helper data scheme. The SD scheme considers the one-probabilities of the SRAM cells as an input, which in practice are not observable. We present a new strategy for the SD scheme that considers the binary SRAM-PUF observations as an input instead and show that the new strategy is optimal and achieves the same reconstruction performance as the MO scheme. Finally, we present a variation on the MO helper data scheme that updates the helper data sequentially after each successful reconstruction of the key. As a result, the error-correcting performance of the scheme is improved over time.


secret-key agreement; Physical Unclonable Functions; helper data scheme; LDPC code


Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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