Physical Unclonable Functions and Applications: A Tutorial

Published in August 2014

Proceedings of the IEEE - Popular - Herder


Charles Herder, Meng-Day Yu, Farinaz Koushanfar, and Srinivas Devadas


This paper describes the use of physical unclonable functions (PUFs) in low-cost authentication and key generation applications. First, it motivates the use of PUFs versus conventional secure nonvolatile memories and defines the two primary PUF types: “strong PUFs” and “weak PUFs.” It describes strong PUF implementations and their use for low-cost authentication. After this description, the paper covers both attacks and protocols to address errors. Next, the paper covers weak PUF implementations and their use in key generation applications. It covers error-correction schemes such as pattern matching and index-based coding. Finally, this paper reviews several emerging concepts in PUF technologies such as public model PUFs and new PUF implementation technologies.