In a typical design environment, semiconductor manufacturing variations are considered as challenges for nanoelectronic circuit design engineers. This has led to multi-front research on process variations analysis and its mitigations. As a paradigm shift of that trend the present article explores the use of semiconductor manufacturing variations for enhancing security of systems using FinFET technology as an example. FinFETs were introduced to replace high-κ transistors in nanoelectronic applications. From microprocessors to graphic processing units, FinFETs are being used commercially today. Along with the technological advancements in computing and networking, the number of cyber attacks has also increased. Simultaneously, numerous implementations of the Internet of Things are already present. In this environment, one small security flaw is enough to place the entire network in danger. Encrypting communications in such an environment is vital. Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) can be used to encrypt device to device communications and are the main focus of this paper. PUFs are hardware primitives which rely on semiconductor manufacturing variations to generate characteristics which are used for this purpose. Two different designs of a ring oscillator PUF are introduced, one with low power consumption trading off device performance and one high-performance trading off device power consumption. There is an 11% decrease in power consumption with the low power model along with a simple design and fabrication. Performance of the device can be increased with almost no increase in power consumption.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Physical unclonable function (PUF)
- Process variation