Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs)

Develop a new class of silicon photonic physical unclonable functions (PUFs), which Johns Hopkins University terms “photonic PUFs.”

Photonic PUFs benefit from the greater complexity of optical interactions but, unlike traditional optical PUFs, are realized in planar, chip-scale devices fabricated using standard CMOS processes in a photonic foundry environment. This will result in a highly secure, robust, and low SWaP chip-based hardware fingerprint as well as sources of device-specific, private key material for security applications. For example, Johns Hopkins University envisions these devices as tamper-evident unique identifiers to protect the global defense microelectronic supply chain, as a hardware root-of-trust for critical information processing systems, as unique signatures for tagging and tracking of target systems and collection endpoints across the global digital infrastructure, and as sources of key material for the encryption of information stored on or communicated with mobile devices.