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We present a metastability-based true random number generator that achieves high entropy and passes NIST randomness tests. The generator grades the probability of randomness regardless of the output bit value by measuring the metastable resolution time. The system determines the original random noise level at the time of metastability and tunes itself to achieve a high probability of randomness. Dynamic control enables the system to respond to deterministic noise and a qualifier module grades the individual metastable events to produce a high-entropy random bit-stream. The grading module allows the user to trade off output bit-rate with the quality of the bit-stream. A fully integrated true random number generator was fabricated in a 0.13 mum bulk CMOS technology with an area of 0.145 mm2.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2008