News Column

"Authentication Using Graphene Based Devices as Physical Unclonable Functions" in Patent Application Approval Process

July 1, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Dimitrakopoulos, Christos D. (Baldwin, NY); Pfeiffer, Dirk (Croton on Hudson, NY); Smith, Joshua T. (Croton on Hudson, NY), filed on August 19, 2013, was made available online on June 19, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to International Business Machines Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Hardware based 'Root of Trust' is a fundamental building block for any secure computing system. Key elements of secure computing require authentication, sending data to an authorized source, and/or loading data onto a designated device. In general, cryptographic keys in binary code form the basis of securing data and bit streams. Typically, such cryptographic keys are stored in non-volatile memory and are present on an integrated circuit (IC) at all times. If an attacker can extract the key from a device, the entire foundation for secure computing is in jeopardy. For example, an attacker with physical access to the device can delayer a chip, and read out the stored code based on the state of the transistors. Thus, securing cryptographic keys requires anti-tamper technologies, which may be relatively expensive and may therefore not be suitable for implementation in various devices like field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), mobile devices, and sensors."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A method of manufacturing a secure device having a physical unclonable function includes providing a first graphene layer, providing a second graphene layer and applying a variability enhancement to at least one of the first graphene layer and the second graphene layer such that a measurable property is different for each of the first graphene layer and the second graphene layer. The physical unclonable function is represented by at least the first and second graphene layers. In still another embodiment, a method of manufacturing a secure device having a physical unclonable function includes providing an integrated circuit comprising at least one graphene layer and including a measurement circuit in the integrated circuit that is configured to measure at least one property of the at least one graphene layer for authenticating the secure device. The at least one graphene layer represents the physical unclonable function.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The teachings of the present disclosure can be readily understood by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a graph of experimental results for measuring properties of exemplary graphene devices, according to embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary device, according to embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 3 illustrates the operation of an exemplary measurement circuit, according to embodiments of the present disclosure; and

"FIG. 4 is a flowchart of a method for manufacturing an exemplary device, according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

"To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the Figures."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Dimitrakopoulos, Christos D.; Pfeiffer, Dirk; Smith, Joshua T. Authentication Using Graphene Based Devices as Physical Unclonable Functions. Filed August 19, 2013 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2787&p=56&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Cryptography, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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