mrPUF: A Novel Memristive Device Based Physical Unclonable Function

  • Yansong GaoEmail author
  • Damith C. Ranasinghe
  • Said F. Al-Sarawi
  • Omid Kavehei
  • Derek Abbott
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9092)


Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) exploit the intrinsic complexity and irreproducibility of physical systems to generate secret information. They have been proposed to provide higher level security as a hardware security primitive. Notably PUFs are an emerging and promising solution for establishing trust in an embedded system with low overhead with respect to energy and area. Most current PUF designs traditionally focus on exploiting process variations in CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology. In recent years, progress in nanoelectronic devices such as memristors has demonstrated the prevalence of process variations in scaling electronics down to the nano region. In this paper we exploit the extremely large information density available in the nanocrossbar architecture and the large resistance variations of memristors to develop on-chip memristive device based PUF (mrPUF). Our proposed architecture demonstrates good uniqueness, reliability and improved number of challenge-response pairs (CRPs). The proposed mrPUF is validated using nanodevices characteristics obtained from experimental data and extensive simulations. In addition, the performance of our mrPUF is compared with existing memristor based PUF architectures. Furthermore, we analyze and demonstrate the improved security with respect to model building attacks by expounding upon the inherent nature of nanocrossbar arrays where we use the independence between nanocrossbar columns to generate responses to challenges.


Physical unclonable function PUFs Hardware security Memristor Nanocrossbar Model building attack 



This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council (DP140103448). The authors also appreciate sponsorship from the China Scholarship Council, and the support from the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST) under the Collaboration Pathways Program, Government of South Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yansong Gao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Damith C. Ranasinghe
    • 2
  • Said F. Al-Sarawi
    • 1
  • Omid Kavehei
    • 3
  • Derek Abbott
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Auto-ID Labs, School of Computer ScienceThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringRoyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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