Journal of Electronic Testing

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 571–586 | Cite as

Impact of Aging on the Reliability of Delay PUFs

  • Naghmeh KarimiEmail author
  • Jean-Luc Danger
  • Sylvain Guilley


Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are mainly used for generating unique keys to identify electronic devices. These entities mainly benefit from the process variations occurring during the device manufacturing. To be able to use PUFs to identify electronic devices or to utilize them in cryptographic applications, the reliability of PUFs needs to be assured under a wide variety of environmental conditions and aging mechanisms, including the switching activity of the PUFs’ internal signals. In practice, it is important to evaluate aging effects as early as possible, preferentially at design time. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of aging on two types of delay-PUFs (arbiter-PUFs and loop-PUFs) with different switching activities. This work takes advantage of both simulation tool and silicon tests on a 65nm ASIC implementation. To expedite the simulation process and get rid of conducting simulations of multiple delay-element PUFs, we propose an extrapolation method to evaluate the effect of BTI (Bias Temperature-Instability) and HCI (Hot Carrier Injection) aging under different switching activities on PUFs with multiple delay elements using the aging effects on single delay-element PUFs. The results show that switching activity (expressed in terms of transitions/time) has a limited impact on delay chains of considered delay-PUFs, while it has a greater impact on the arbiter (RS latch) of the arbiter-PUF. The simulation results show that the aging-related Bit Error Rate in an arbiter-PUF with high switching activity can be 11 times worse than the Bit Error Rate in the same PUF when there is no activity in 20 months.


Hardware security Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) Delay-PUFs Device aging Reliability 



This work was partly supported by Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion (IITP) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No.2016-0-00399, Study on secure key hiding technology for IoT devices [KeyHAS Project]). It was also partly supported by a Faculty Fellowship Award from University of Maryland Baltimore County.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSEE DepartmentUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Institut Mines-TelecomTelecom ParisTechParisFrance
  3. 3.Secure-IC S.A.S.Cesson-SévignéFrance
  4. 4.Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS)Département d’InformatiqueParisFrance

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