1.3 True-random number generation

Random number generators play a fundamental role in most algorithms and systems for cryptographic applications. True random number generators (TRNGs) produce random bits from random physical phenomena or noise sources. Such non-deterministic generators have limited efficiency in number generation rates due to limitations of the mechanisms for extracting bits from the physical procedures. Research in quantum noise TRNGs demonstrated configurations that could increase significantly the bit-rate generation efficiency, potentially over 100 Mbps. However, even such bit-rates are much slower than the ones achieved by the recently proposed technique using broadband chaotic signals emitted from semiconductor lasers (SLs) with optical feedback. A single-laser chaotic signal could not be adopted as the random source due to the periodicities of the external cavity modes (ECMs) of the chaotic waveform. Either advanced electrical post-processing offline methods or optical de-correlation techniques have been employed in order to claim an ultra-high bit rate TRNG. Our group's work in this area demonstrated the first compact real-time true random bit generator (TRBG) that exploits broadband chaotic signals emitted by a photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The proposed generator is simpler than the existing configurations and consists of the PIC, a photodetector and a 40 GSa/s oscilloscope, without including any optical de-correlation methods. Depending on the operating conditions of the PIC and by using MSB elimination post-processing, real time bit sequences extracted from the oscilloscope Ethernet output port, with verified randomness and rates as high as 140 Gb/s become available.


Significant publications:

  • A. Argyris, S. Deligiannidis, E. Pikasis, A. Bogris and D. Syvridis, "Implementation of 140 Gb/s true random bit generator based on a chaotic photonic integrated circuit", Optics Express, vol. 18, n. 18, pp. 18763-18768, August 2010.
  • A. Argyris, E. Pikasis, S. Deligiannidis and D. Syvridis, "Sub-Tb/s physical random bit generators based on direct detection of amplified spontaneous emission signals", IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 30, n. 9, pp. 1329-1334, May 2012.
  • A. Argyris, M. Boumpos, A. Bogris, D. Syvridis, "Statistical Properties of Broadband Chaotic Signals for Ultrafast True Random Bit Sequence Generation", IEE European Conference of Optical Communications 2013, P.3.31, London, U.K., September 2013.