Publication Date

12-2020

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

10-9-2020

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Advisor

Kristy A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Advisor

Elisa H. Barney, Ph.D.

Advisor

Kurtis Cantley, Ph.D.

Abstract

Random numbers are an important, but often overlooked part of the modern computing environment. They are used everywhere around us for a variety of purposes, from simple decision making in video games such as a coin toss, to securing financial transactions and encrypting confidential communications. They are even useful for gambling and the lottery.

Random numbers are generated in many ways. Pseudo random number generators (PRNGs) generate numbers based on a formula. True random number generators (TRNGs) capture entropy from the environment to generate randomness. As our society and our devices become more connected in the digital world, it is important to develop new ways to generate truly random numbers in order to secure communications and connected devices.

In this work a novel memristor-based True Random Number Generator is designed and a physical implementation is fabricated and tested using a W-based self-directed channel (SDC) memristor. The circuit was initially designed and prototyped on a breadboard. A custom Printed Circuit Board (PCB) was fabricated for the final circuit design and testing of the novel memristor-based TRNG. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Statistical Test Suite (STS) was used to check the output of the TRNG for randomness. The TRNG was demonstrated to pass 13 statistical tests out of the 15 in the STS.

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