Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yong C. Kim, PhD


This research examines a new way to generate an uncloneable secure key by taking advantage of the delay characteristics of individual transistors. The user profiles the circuit to deduce the glitch count of each output line for each number of selectable buffers added to the circuit. The user can then use this information to generate a specific glitch count on each output line, which is passed to an encryption algorithm as its key. The results detail tests of two configurations for adding a selectable amount of buffers into each glitch circuit in order to induce additional delay. One configuration adds up to seven buffers that is equivalent to the binary digits used on the three SELECT lines of a multiplexer. The second, referred to as the cascaded design, has eight different quantities of selectable buffers, but they all connect to one multiplexer. Each successive line connects to the previous line and adds a certain number of buffers. The linear selection implementation produces almost 15% more usable output lines over the cascaded design, where a usable line is defined as one that has at least one ‘1’ and one ‘0’ glitch count in response to every buffer count. Tests were also performed to determine the optimal number of buffers added to each output using the linear buffer selection configuration. Using three input bits to the buffer unit produced 30.94% usable outputs. Four bits generated nearly 25% more usable outputs, while the use of six bits gave less than a 5% improvement over four bits. The average repeatability of the glitch count is 94.85% using this method. The overall distinguishability of the generated glitch counts for each output line is 10.46%.

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